In "Superman and Me," what does Alexie realize about paragraphs, and how does he use that to understand the world around him?
Alexie cites his grasp of the paragraph as his way of organizing information in his mind:
I realized that a paragraph was a fence that held words. The words inside a paragraph worked together for a common purpose. They had some specific reason for being inside the same fence. This knowledge delighted me. I began to think of everything in terms of paragraphs.
Alexie is able to apply the same "fence," or method of organizing information, to all kinds of different constructs in his life: his family, other families, the reservation, the state, and the country. Once he has a recognition of organization in place and understands how elements of his world connect, Alexie is able to extrapolate. He sees organization and structure in his Superman comic book and how its elements of picture, dialogue, and narrative work together. Alexie grasps how books are put together through the comic book's panels and pictures and sees how they combine to create meaning before he has actually learned to read words.