Essay about Similarities in A Different Worlds

Essay about Similarities in A Different Worlds

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How does a person’s culture or the stereotypes they face during their lifetime impact their future dreams or desires? Through the writings of Sherman Alexie and Bobbie Ann Mason, the influences their cultures impressed upon them are observed. Author, poet, and screenwriter Alexie writes in his essay from 1997 “The Joy of Reading and Writing: Superman and Me” of life on the Spokane Indian Reservation and describes how he used his love of books to not only escape the biases of his own race but to succeed in the non-Indian world (47). In her 1999 excerpt “Being Country” from her book Clear Springs: A Memoir, author and essayist Mason explores life on her family’s farm in rural Kentucky. She writes of a lifestyle that revolved around the food they grew but was also dependent upon the vagaries of nature for their existence. Moreover, she explains how this way of life caused her to dream of a different life. (106-107). Even though Alexie and Mason came from diverse cultures, they both grew up in stereotypical societies and shared an exposure to similar outside influences that further shaped their personal identities throughout their young lives. As a result, they both envisioned futures that aspired to be different from the customs and beliefs found in their everyday lives.
As the backgrounds of these two authors are examined, their economic differences are clearly seen while their similarities become apparent through the stereotypes of their cultures. Alexie describes a childhood where poverty was a way of life. He says, “We were poor by most standards, but one of my parents usually managed to find some minimum-wage job or another, which made us middle-class by reservation standards….We lived on a combination of irregular paychecks, h...

... middle of paper ...

...nd became the award winning author she is today. Therefore, both of these writers overcame the restrictions of their societies and achieved the successes they had only dreamed of when faced with constraints that endeavored to impede their potential and limit their freedom. In the minds of both Alexie and Mason, failure and conformity were not options. They were propelled by their knowledge and self-determination to succeed in worlds of their own choosing.

Works Cited

Alexie, Sherman. “The Joy of Reading and Writing: Superman and Me.” The Arlington Reader: Context and Connections. 3rd Edition. Eds. Lynn Z Bloom and Louise Z Smith. Boston:
Bedford/St.Martin’s, 2011. 45-47. Print.
Mason, Bobbie Ann. “Being Country.” The Arlington Reader: Context and Connections. 3rd Edition. Eds. Lynn Z Bloom and Louise Z Smith. Boston: Bedford/St.Martin’s, 2011. 105-107. Print.

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