Sherman Alexie’s principal claim in “Superman and Me” is that reading books saved his life and that he is now trying to use books to save the lives of other Indian children along with his own. This is clearly an instance of hyperbole as well as pathos and is repeated for emphasis. Much of the essay’s effect is achieved by the wealth of descriptive detail, particularly in enumerating the different genres of literature the author’s father used to read and the places where he acquired them. The principal reason for Alexie’s initiation into reading, however, is pure pathos:
My father loved books, and since I loved my father with an aching devotion, I decided to love books as well.
The description of how Alexie began to read is contrastingly logical and explained with a number of analogies, as when he compares the reservation, his house and his family members to paragraphs, or explains how he knew what the captions in Superman comics must say before he could read. The description of...
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