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What You Pawn I Will Redeem Quotes

Sherman Alexie’s short story “What you Pawn, I Will Redeem” is a complex and moving exploration of the protagonist’s identity. The story follows Jack, a Native American man living in Seattle, as he tries to track down his stolen powwow regalia. In the process, Jack is forced to confront his own history and the choices he has made in his life.

Sherman Alexie is a master of creating complex and multi-layered characters, and “What you Pawn, I Will Redeem” is no exception. Jack is a deeply conflicted individual, struggling with addiction, poverty, and a sense of rootlessness. At the same time, he is also a proud Native American man who takes great pride in his culture and heritage. This duality is what makes Jack such a compelling and sympathetic character.

“What you Pawn, I Will Redeem” is a powerful story about the importance of identity and belonging. Sherman Alexie expertly portrays the struggles and triumphs of his protagonist in a way that is both moving and relatable.

Sherman Alexie’s “What You Pawn, I Will Redeem” at first seems to be a straightforward story about a homeless Native American man in Seattle who is trying to earn enough money to get his grandmother’s Pow Wow regalia back from a pawn shop. But upon closer inspection, there are many passages with hidden meaning that suggest the quest may not have been real, but rather a spiritual experience for the protagonist.

Alexie’s use of short, choppy sentences also help to give the story a feeling of uneasiness and add to the feeling that something is not quite right.

Sherman Alexie has been quoted as saying that he sees his characters as “tricksters”. In many Native American cultures, the trickster is a character that breaks all the rules and is usually depicted as an animal. They are known for their cunning and their ability to change shape. The trickster is often seen as a positive figure, even though they may cause chaos. In “What you Pawn, I Will Redeem”, Sherman Alexie uses these characteristics of the trickster to create a main character that is hard to trust and seems to be constantly changing.

The narrator, Jackson Jackson, is first introduced to us as a “drunken Indian”. He is described as being “not quite fifty years old” but looking much older due to his hard life on the streets. He is wearing dirty clothes and has a “filthy old blanket” wrapped around him. He is clearly someone who has been through a lot in his life and is not in a good place mentally or physically.

Throughout the story, Jackson Jackson goes through many changes. At first he is just trying to earn enough money to buy back his grandmother’s Pow Wow regalia from the pawn shop. But as the story progresses, he starts to believe that he is on a mission to save his people. He becomes convinced that the regalia is a powerful symbol and that by reclaiming it he will be able to help his people.

Jackson is also a very unreliable narrator. He tells us early on in the story that he is an alcoholic and that he has been drinking for most of his life. This immediately makes him someone that we cannot trust. He later tells us about how he used to be a good student and had dreams of becoming a doctor. But his alcoholism got in the way and he ended up dropping out of college and living on the streets. We see how his alcoholism has affected his life and made him into someone who is not to be trusted.

Jackson was evidently going through a modern day vision quest, as described in the story’s introduction. He mentions himself as being homeless and Indian, having married and fathered multiple children before succumbing to alcoholism and mental illness. These years of alcohol abuse has begun to take a toll on his health, potentially altering his sense of awareness.

Even with these self-destructive behaviors, Sherman Alexie manages to give Jackson a relatable personality.

Although he is down on his luck, Sherman Alexie allows readers to see that Jackson has not given up hope. He shows this by having him save his money for over two weeks in order to buy back his grandmother’s powwow regalia from a pawnshop. To the average reader, it may not seem like a significant amount of time, but for someone who is homeless and struggles with addiction, it is quite an accomplishment.

When Jackson finally has enough money to buy back the regalia, he does not do so right away. Instead, he spends days walking around town and visiting different places that hold memories for him. He even spends time at the cemetery visiting his grandmother’s grave. It is clear that he is not just on a mission to retrieve a physical object, but he is also on a journey to find himself.

Throughout the story, Sherman Alexie gives readers glimpses into Jackson’s past that help to explain his current situation. He reveals that Jackson was once a star basketball player in high school and had dreams of playing in the NBA. Unfortunately, an injury ended his career before it even really began. This event seemed to be a turning point in Jackson’s life and possibly contributed to his downward spiral.

By the end of the story, Jackson has redeemed himself in more ways than one. He not only buys back the regalia, but he also finds a sense of peace and closure. In a way, he has taken back control of his life. Sherman Alexie’s story is a perfect example of how personality can transcend circumstance.

It’s possible that his goal to retrieve his grandmother’s regalia is only a figment of his imagination, which he created in an attempt to find connection with family, heritage and self. His wanting to reconnect with tribe members shows early on in the story, and may be amplified by current circumstances. “My people have lived within SpokaneWashington for at least 10,000 years”. Yet he is homeless. He feels unseen – like many other Native American homelessness in Seattle. “Piece by piece I disappeared”.

Sherman Alexie’s semi-autobiographical protagonist in “What you Pawn, I will Redeem” is an Indian man down on his luck. He’s an alcoholic. He’s homeless. And he’s just about to pawn his most prized possession, his grandmother’s powwow regalia, in order to buy alcohol. Sherman Alexie does not give his protagonist a name, which further emphasizes his invisibility and lack of identity.

The namelessness of the protagonist allows Sherman Alexie to explore the issue of Native American identity within the context of society at large. Sherman Alexie was born on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Washington state, and much of his writing deals with the struggles of modern Native Americans to retain their heritage and culture in the face of a dominant white society. In “What you Pawn, I will Redeem”, Sherman Alexie uses the pawn shop as a metaphor for the way in which Native American culture has been commodified and appropriated by mainstream society.

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