Superman and Me Pronouns In the autobiography “Superman and Me,” Alexie uses an interesting strategy to show how his position has changed in the society as a “smart,” “arrogant,” and “lucky” Indian. He uses the strategy of shifting pronouns to show that he was an outlier, very different from the rest of his peers, and able to “save his life” through hard work. This strategy helps the reader to view his position and role in the society through different perspectives.
He sometimes uses the pronoun “I” and sometimes talks about himself in the third-person; he also uses “they” to describe the rest of the society and “we” to write about his family. In the autobiography “Superman and Me,” Sherman Alexie writes about how he became successful in a society where success is very uncommon and unreachable. He uses the strategy of shifting pronouns to write about the change of his role and position in the Indian society and saving his life. Alexie uses the pronoun “I” to describe his personal experiences, his love for books as a child, how learned to read them, and his position in the society as an adult.
In paragraphs one, two, three, and four, he uses the first-person pronoun to write about his personal life and his childhood. He writes about his own experiences on reading and writing and gives his audience some background information about himself. He introduces himself to his audience by using the first person pronoun because it would connect them to him and create a friendly mood. He writes about his first experience with books and his discovery of paragraph as a child in first person pronouns to describe his personal feelings and emotions for books and how his was “delighted” with his discovery of paragraphs.
The usage of first person pronoun in paragraph three helps the readers to sense and feel his excitements for books and knowledge and his true love of them. At the end of paragraph three, he says: “I can see my changed family as an essay of seven paragraphs: mother, father, older brother, the deceased sister, my younger twin sisters and our adopted little brother. ” In this quote, he foreshadows that his family has changed; he also does not mention himself as one of the paragraphs because he is not “linked” to his family since his life has changed and is very different from them.
In the last paragraph, he uses the pronoun “I” to write about his current life and his current position and role in the society as a “Superman. ” He writes about “breaking down the door” for Indians in the first person pronoun because he is able to transfer his passion of helping Indian kids to his readers by using the first person pronoun. His position as a “smart” Indian kid in the society is shown from other Indians’ point of view through third person. Using the third person point of view also shows that he does not enjoy recalling his experiences of living in the reservation where his peers did not respect his intelligence.
In paragraph five, he shifts to the third-person to give the readers a better view of his position and the situation he was in. He also wants his readers to know that there is more to his is not just about how he taught himself to read and write; it is about his struggles and the tough situations and circumstances he has been through, and yet he did not give up and “refused to fail”. In paragraph five he writes: “He grows into a man who often speaks of his childhood in the third-person. As he mentions, his life now is different from his childhood, so he writes about his childhood in the third-person as if he is writing about someone else, perhaps a stranger; he writes about his childhood in the third person to “dull the pain. By shifting to the third-person, he gives his readers the opportunity to understand and comprehend what he has been through and what type of a person he was as a child. In paragraph six, Alexie uses the pronoun “they” to describe his classmates as if he was not part of them, which shows that he is an outlier in the society. They struggled with basic reading”, “they were monosyllabic in front of their non-Indian teachers”, “they wanted me to stay quiet when the non-indian teacher asked for answers, for volunteers, for help. ” He uses the pronoun “they” to show that he was not like them and distinguish himself from them. In this paragraph, typical Indian kids were described through the pronoun “they. ” Shifting pronouns is helps to the readers to understand Alexie’s change position and role in the society throughout his life (from his childhood to his current position).
He writes in the first person pronoun to transfer his excitement, passion, and his emotions to his audience, which also helps the audience to emotionally connect to him and sense his problems and difficulties. Then, he shifts to the third person pronoun to show how others view his situation. He describes what he has been through in the third person to attempt to “dull the pain” and the difficulties he has been through. The pronoun “they” was also used to distinguish Alexie from the rest of the society and make him an outlier. Sherman Alexie cleverly uses the strategy of shifting pronouns to show the change f his position in the society.