Sherman Alexie vs James Baldwin

In: English and Literature

Submitted By Jennsullivan70
Words 783
Pages 4
When one thinks of education, it is common to view it as an opportunity to expand the mind and that education is used to facilitate learning new skills,values and thoughts.However, education in America is not as effectual as it should be for everyone, due to institutional racism deeply embedded within the system. As displayed in both Sherman Alexie’s “Superman & Me” and James Baldwin’s “A Talk To Teachers”, children of minority are not given the same opportunities as white children and it is almost predetermined that black or indian children cannot be successful in school. While both essays argued the same general point about education, the way each point was presented contained differed tones and styles, setting the two pieces apart. In Sherman Alexie’s “Superman & Me”, Alexie begins his story by introducing how he learned to read, by using a Superman comic. This is important because it stresses the fact that Alexie did not have the same extensive resources that privileged white children do. Alexie read whatever he could find to educate himself, because he was aware that the only key to success is through obtaining an education. Alexie’s sharing of personal experience creates a connection with the audience. When Alexie speaks about how he learned to read from a comic book, this is almost a depressing statement. However, the audience knows that Alexie was able to overcome this depressing situation to become successful, even though he was never given proper educational resources. This also draws a deep respect from the audience. The irony that Alexie is very successful and he learned to read from a comic book with very limited resources growing up is inspiring and makes the audience feel sympathy and respect for him. Sherman Alexie is critical of the education system, but does not point fingers. He shares personal anecdotes to draw out his main point, that…...

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