The Struggle

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The struggle Everyone faces discrimination and oppression in their own lives. Some people have a much more difficult time facing discrimination than others. A good example of two people who have faced this oppression would be the two very successful writers: Sherman Alexie, A native American writer and author of the essay “The Joy of Reading and Writing: Superman and me.” And Eric Lui, Asian American author of the essay “Notes of a Native Speaker.” These two authors faced discrimination based on solely their cultural heritage. Both of these texts show that from a very young age and into adulthood, the two authors: Alexie and Lui, faced many challenges in life. Each author, especially Alexie, pushed themselves to overcome these challenges and onwards to become successful readers and writers. Both Alexie and Lui even though they are of different descent and upbringing, fought against stereotypes stemming from their cultural heritage. Each author fought against obstacles, climbed over barriers, and rebelled against images that are attached to them. These images that attached to them based off their culture. Both of these authors stories prove the power that heritage and culture can hold in an individual's life. One of the larger similarities between Alexie and Lui was that they were both of non-typical cultural heritage. In other terms, they were not born “white”. Alexie being of Native American descent: Grew up on an Indian reserve, went to Native American schools and he grew up around Native Americans like himself.(Alexie 46). Describing his childhood on the reservation Alexie paints a vivid picture through this quote from his text, “We were poor by most standards, but one of my parents usually managed to find some minimum-wage... ... middle of paper ... ...rong. But at the same time holding a respect for their culture. The power that culture can hold can be a negative. When limits created by others, through stereotypes, present themselves it can be more than frustrating. It is a challenge that can affect someones entire life. As Alexie says showing the power of his own culture, “I was trying to save my life”( Alexie 47). Both Alexie and Lui respected their cultures and themselves. They proved that stereotypes are not written in stone and one can always overcome adversity. Culture is not what someone's worth should be solely based upon. Culture is a very powerful thing and It is attached to everyone. It is attached to an indiviual from birth; and with it, negativity can follow. But one can always overcome this negativity. Alexie and Lui have proved this in their writing and have set a great example for others to follow.

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