Something else that should be noted in Alexie's writing is his varying syntax. It seems as if in his early paragraphs (when discussing his learning to read), Alexie uses a complex, and longer sentence structure. Then, when he begins to discuss the stereotypes of a Native American reader, his sentences become shorter and his words become simpler. It's almost as if that by using simple syntax, Sherman is reinforcing the notion that Native Americans are not sophisticated (at least that is what Sherman believes people to perceive them as).
Now, for the questions...
1.) This is an example of a zeugma. Alexie uses the verb "lived" to modify "paychecks, hope, fear, and government surplus food." In reality, one cannot live on fear nor hope. Therefore, this is classified as a zeugma because in this scenario a verb is used to modify multiple things in which only one (or in this case two) is appropriate. By doing so, Alexie hits home to the reader. If he were to simply have said "we lived off of paychecks and government surplus food," the reader would not have felt the emotion behind it. Instead, the reader is more able to understand the situation in which Sherman Alexie was raised, and how desolate it was.
2.) Sherman's father is a HUGE contradiction to the stereotype of a typical Native American. Sherman perceives Natives to be dumb, unintelligent people, while his father is quite the opposite. His father was rather interested in reading, something that was believed to be out of reach to Natives. He also attended Catholic school, something not a lot of Indians did.
3.) This analogy is purely conceptually appealing. The idea that a paragraph is like the framework, or fence, of a paper/novel is something I wish I would have been taught in my elementary days. By comparing these two things, Alexie easily demonstrates his early methods of thinking, and how they not only differ, but are superior to that of his peers. Most "Indian" boys wouldn't be able to conceive what a paragraph looked like. The fact that Sherman Alexie did not only this, but put an image to it, is remarkable in regards to the stereotype he is made out to be.
4.) This statement is highly sarcastic. It's almost as if Alexie is poking fun at his own style of writing. However, there is more meaning to it. When Sherman talks about "an Indian boy", he is not just referring to himself, but to hundreds of other Native American children who were just like him. It's unreasonable to think that only ONE Indian child liked to read and could do so well. Speaking in the third person makes the reader associate the little "Indian boy" to a greater public, and not just Sherman Alexie.
7.) As a whole, the parallel structure of the last two paragraphs seems to be Sherman talking constantly about himself by using "I." He describes how he "saved himself" from the stereotype of dumb Indians by educating himself through self-reading. Then, in the last paragraph he explains how he is saving others through education and reading.
8.) I believe the audience for this essay is Native American children. Everything Alexie said could be used as motivation to fuel the interest of reading in an entire population. Just as Alexie did, students could "[run] to the bookstores and read bits and pieces of as many books as [they] could...read the books [they] borrowed from the library...read the bulletins posted on the walls of the school, the clinic, the post offices" (para. 7). All this is a call to action, an attempt urge less fortunate Native American students (and even children of other races) to read. When Sherman says "I am trying to save our lives", he means the lives of the students. Had he not read, and been so involved with literature, he would be no where, and would not be successful. The word "our" can mean many things. Our lives as in Native Americans and Sherman. Our lives as in children and Sherman. Heck, even our lives as in adults in children. Sherman Alexie is simply trying to get people involved, to educate them, and to allow people to live the life he has.