The Joy of Reading and Writing: Superman and Me and Listening: Finding Your Calling in Writing

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Sherman Alexie’s “The Joy of Reading and Writing: Superman and Me” and Eudora Welty’s “Listening” narratives provide more profound insights into the how writers from poor backgrounds developed their writing skills. The two stories provide readers with crucial information regarding how writers, such as Alexie and Welty, had to overcome numerous challenges to become some of the greatest writers in the United States. Their experiences inform readers that passion, commitment, and support is all they need to achieve their goals of becoming writers. Alexie and Welty further tell readers that they do not have to come from rich families where they can have access to many books or attend good schools to be great writers. Although Alexie and Welty come from different backgrounds, their experiences indicate that support, passion, and perseverance are the essential requirements of achieving one’s goal of becoming a great writer.

To begin with, parental assistance played a vital role in the growth and development of Alexie and Welty as writers. The two authors claim that their parents played a vital role in their development as writers. Alexie states that he obtained the reading passion from his father he read anything that he came across. As a result, the father bought books that provided him with reading materials, such as the “Superman” comic books. His experiences resemble Welty’s as she also acknowledges the role that her parents played in her career as a writer. Welty claims that she used to request her mother to read to her stories. The mother obliged to her requests and would read narratives to her even during times when she was undertaking other activities. Welty’s father also purchased books for the family that ensured the children had something to read. Thus, Welty’s and Alexie’s parents were instrumental to their development as writers as they provided them with ideal reading environment and materials.

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Passion is for reading is the other factor that an individual needs to pursue a career in writing. Alexie claims that he did not have someone to teach him to read. As result, he used to look at the images in the “Superman” comic books and guess what the characters might have been saying. Thus, passion drove him to learn to read.

Additionally, Alexie says that he wanted to become a pediatrician, yet he became a writer. Moreover, he did not receive external motivation to pursue writing but eventually end up writing books and stories. Alexie’s sentiments are echoed by Welty who states that her passion for reading made her to force her mother to read stories to her. When she could read, she read all books in her house including maps. Moreover, she claims that her best birthday gift were books, which emphasizes her passion for reading.

Finally, individuals must overcome the challenges they face to become great writers. The view is evident in Alexie’s experiences where he claims he was intimidated by other students because his intelligence but never gave up. At the same time, his family could not afford the books he needed to learn reading due to poverty but he never lost faith that he could learn to read. Welty also experienced several challenges while learning to read as she came from a poor family. Thus, she could not acquire the books she needed to learn to read but never gave in to challenges she faced.

In conclusion, it is evident that persons have to have passion for reading, persevere the challenges they face, and have sufficient support to become great writers. These views are evident in Alexie’s and Welty’s experiences during their childhood years when learning to read. They did not have sufficient books or people to teach them to read, but never gave up on their dreams. Eventually, they learned to read and became great writers.

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The Joy of Reading and Writing: Superman and Me and Listening: Finding Your Calling in Writing. (2020, November 02). WritingBros. Retrieved February 23, 2024, from
“The Joy of Reading and Writing: Superman and Me and Listening: Finding Your Calling in Writing.” WritingBros, 02 Nov. 2020,
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