Similarities and differences
Sherman Alexei’s “The joy of reading and writing: Superman and me” reflects similarities with Frederick Douglass’s “learning to read.” Both authors agree that people learn to read and write from story books. It is through books that children develop the ability to learn things. Book reading is the common hobby of many children. Alexie and Douglas use their personal experience to illustrate the significance of books in one’s life. “I read the books my father brought home from the pawnshop and secondhand. I read the books I borrowed from the library. I read the backs of cereal boxes. I read magazines. I read anything that had words and paragraphs” (Alexie 18).
Alexie and Douglas find reading as a burden due to the revelation of harsh realities. “I would at times feel that learning to read had been a curse rather than a blessing” (Douglas 3). The similarities also reflect uncovering the realities racism and stereotypes that prevailed in the world. Both authors managed to excel in knowledge through their reading.
Alexie and Douglas were fascinated to read books since their childhood. Reading allowed Douglas to make new friends through his teaching skills. “The plan which I adopted and the one by which I was most successful, was that of making friends of all the little white boys whom I met in the street. As many of these I could, I converted into teachers” (Douglas 347).
The backgrounds of authors represent differences as Alexei include events of native Indians while Douglas talks about freedom and escaping southern slave state. Alexie recognizes reading as an effective source that allows people to transform themselves and change their destiny. Douglas also finds reading as a powerful tool to manipulate negative obstacles. Alexie states that his reading allowed him to succeed though he lacked the good educational background and believed in changing conditions through reading. Douglas also agrees that reading provided him dominating power that he used to convince other boys.