Junot Diaz, The Dreamer and Sherman Alexie’s Superman and me

Junot Diaz, The Dreamer and Sherman Alexie’s Superman and me

JANET DIAZ’S THE DREAMER AND SHERMAN ALEXIE’S SUPERMAN 4

JunotDiaz, TheDreamerand Sherman Alexie’s Supermanand me

JunotDiaz, TheDreamerand Sherman Alexie’s Supermanand me

ShermanAlexie and Junot Diaz’s writings provide great insights about thepower of education. After reading the writings, one realizes that,indeed, an education is the best equalizer in the society. Peoplefrom different social and income backgrounds can become anything theydream of through education. There are also a few differences in theway they perceive education as a powerful tool for upward socialmobility. Nonetheless, the assertions of the two indicate theiragreement about the potency of formal education in bringing peopleout of poverty as long as the society and the students play theirpart.

Firstly,both authors consider formal education as the best way to bridge thegap between people from high social strata and those living inpoverty. As Sherman relates on his own personal experiences in theNative Indian American camps, he struggled to get an education(Alexie, 1998). Sherman used the superman comic book as his first tool to know howto read. During that period, the common notion in the Americanracist society was that an Indian-American child was destined forfailure. Like other children of his ethnic and social background,Sherman grew with meager resources that could not afford the qualityeducation that white children accessed. Diaz, on the other hand, alsorelates the story of her mother. Like Sherman, Diaz’s mother alsogrew up in a poor background where she was expected to work on thefamily firm her entire life. Unfortunately, Diaz grandmother alsobelieved that her daughter’s destiny was just the farm and, ofcourse, marriage. However, as fate unfolded in her favor and shewent against Diaz’s grandmother and went to school. Later, she wentto the United States. She never became the nurse of her dreams, butshe got an education that was a dream so impossible and improbable.

Thetwo authors also share a stance on the role students should play inmaking their dreams come true. The authors suggest that studentsought to work hard against their odds. They need to show it to theworld that their resolve is unstoppable. Sherman showed his resolveby reading all the books he came across. Diaz mother fought hard andrefused to accompany her family to the hills of Azua to go school.She endured the beatings from her mother but gave up her ambitions toget an education.

Publicschools played a very important role in enabling Sherman and Diaz’smother to actualize their dreams. Diaz mother schooled up in aschoolhouse while Sherman attended a public school near the NativeIndian Reservation. According to the authors, the public educationsystem has the best potential to offer educational opportunities forpoor families as long as governments invest in quality and access. Due to a public policy by the Dominican dictator that all childrenbelow fifteen years had to go to school, Diaz’s mother got thechance to access education.

Diazand Sherman underscore the importance of knowledge for society andindividuals. From the experiences of the two authors, education cantake one up the social ladder. The society also benefits from aneducated mind because the cycle of poverty breaks when children frompoor backgrounds earn a decent living after gaining access tomeaningful education.

Althoughthe authors write about the same themes, they differ in presentation.Diaz relates her mother’s story in a biographical style whileSherman writes his autobiography. The authors also differ on thetheme of parentage and socialization. Unlike Diaz’ grandmother whoconformed to the society’s harshness against the girl child,Sherman’s father played a very important and supportive role to hissuccess by providing the books he read and also encouraging him toperform excel in class.

References

Alexie,S. (1998). Superman and me. LosAngeles Times,19.