1. What figure of speech is the following: “We lived on a combination of irregular paychecks, hope, fear and government surplus food”? What is its effect?
* Imagery is the figure of speech used in the sentence. Although Alexis can’t actually live on hope and fear, the use of the words helps the readers imagine the terrible situation of living an uncertain life at the mercy of others. The readers might not know what it feels like to receive irregular paychecks or government surplus food, but they most likely know and have experienced hope and fear.
2. In what ways does the description of Sherman Alexie’s father play against stereotypes of Native Americans?
* Alexie’s father was “one of the few Indians who went to Catholic school on purpose.” A stereotype had developed that all Indian children were stupid and that they were a bunch of failures. But, Alexie’s father was a passionate reader, the opposite of stupid, who gathered a mass collection of books.
3. What is the effect of Alexie’s analogy of a paragraph to a fence?
* The analogy describes exactly what a paragraph is. It reveals that a paragraph is composed of words that serve a common purpose. Then Alexie’s goes even farther and adds people into the analogy. This reveals that people are just like paragraphs that are composed of all the things that make us individuals inside our bodies, or fences. And these people group together to create all types of essays, like their communities or the world.
4. What does Alexie mean when he describes “an Indian boy” who “grows into a man who often speaks of his childhood in the third-person”?
* Alexie is describing himself as boy who was looked down upon by society. This caused him to become so ashamed of his past that he is reluctant to refer to himself in the first-person. If he wasn’t Indian, people would have called him a prodigy. But he is Indian, so people rejected him and he became reluctant to talk about it so that he...