Sherman Alexie tells a story about growing up as an Indian, learning to read at a young age, finding fascination in everything he read, becoming a writer, and teaching his experiences to help young Native Americans. Alexie describes how society held a stereotype that Native Americans are stupid. How school teachers expected the Native American students to fail in most aspects of education; and how the Native American children would try to fit the stereotype so as to not stand out or draw attention while in school. But Alexie pushed against this stereotype, eager to read everything he came across in a sort of desperation to leave the old way of living. In poverty, on a reservation with minimum wage pay. Alexie goes on to write novels, short stories, and poetry; saving himself from the Single Story. Alexie describes the way the Native American students still act to fit the same stereotype as he tries to educate them on his past experiences, stating that he is trying to break down their locked doors.
Sherman Alexie’s story is fascinating in that the oppression and stereotyping he describes is frightening to say the least. Alexie’s world view being opened by all the literature he must have read and seeing the state in which his family and tribe lived, how society saw the Native Americans as one thing. Having escaped such a nightmare and reaching back in to help save others. Alexie is truly a hero in his own right.