Theme of Self-Education in Superman and Me and Learning to Read

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In both essays, Alexie Sherman’s “The Joy of Reading and Writing : Superman and me” and Malcolm X’s “Learning to Read”,the reader can find a correlation between the two in which they both relate to one another. Alexie and Malcolm were in a box and the knowledge of learning to read is the way they broke out the box. Both writers use rhetorical devices such as descriptive language, personal anecdotes, primary colors, repetition and analogy throughout their essays along with tones that show the purpose of both writers perspectives. It is obvious that expository writing can be lead to social change due to reading transforming from both their lives and knowledge.

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First, Alexie and Malcolm mention in their essays how reading changed their lives completely. Reading gave both writers knowledge even though both writers learned reading differently. Malcolm states, “I have often reflected upon the new vistas that reading opened to me.I knew right there in prison that reading had changed my life” (X pg.281). According to Malcolm, starting to read made his view change drastically. He knew that the knowledge reading gave him made his life change tremendously. Along with that, Alexie relates to his learning style when she states, “I am lucky. I am trying to save our theirs” (Sherman pg.18). As introduced by Alexie, he mentions how lucky he is for he saved his own life by reading and expanding his knowledge. Alexie uses paragraph to compare how everything was in a box and Malcolm broke out the box by being open to something new known as reading. The social change they received from reading made an impact from their life, gave them knowledge to an open mind of learning new things and not giving up. The knowledge was what made them broke out the box.

Secondly, the Rhetorical Devices gives a big impact towards both readers essays. Alexie uses primary colors, metaphors, descriptive language, analogy and repetition throughout his essay. To give an example of a analogy, Alexie Sherman states “ Words, dialogue, also float out of Superman’s mouth. Because he is breaking down the door, I assume he says, “I’m breaking down the door.” Once again, I pretend to read the words and say aloud, “I am breaking down the door.” In this way, I learned to read”(17). The meaning towards this analogy is Superman breaking the door, is him braking the door to make an impact. To give another example of rhetorical device, Alexie uses repetition a couple times stating, “ I read junk mail.I read auto-repair manuals. I read magazines”(18). The repetition he uses is “I read”. Malcolm also uses Rhetorical Devices such as description language, personal anecdote, diction, irony, imaginary and personification. To give an example of imagery, Malcolm states, “Funny things, from the dictionary first page right now, that “aardvark” springs to my kind. The dictionary had a picture of it, a long tailed, long-eared, burrowing African mammal, which lives off termites caught by sticking out his tongue as an anteater does for ants”(274). Malcolm is giving a detail imagery of a picture he seen in the dictionary. With rhetorical devices such as the ones both authors used, the reader/audience is allowed to full comprehend the message.

In conclusion, both essays, “Learning to read” by Malcolm X and “The Joy of Reading and Writing : Superman and me” by Alexie Sherman, both authors informed the reader how writing has shaped their lives. These essays not only relate story wise, but they both use rhetorical devices such as repetition, descriptive language, analogy, personal anecdote, irony, diction, primary colors and metaphors. The affect this has on the reader is that it allows them to fully understand the message behind the sentences. With such information, the reader/audience will have the opportunity to find the correlations between these two essays. Social change was a big impact to both authors, having an open mind can lead you to bigger things and a better knowledge.

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