What You Pawn I Will Redeem Analysis

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In the short story “What You Pawn I Will Redeem” by Sherman Alexie, the protagonist Jackson Jackson sets out to collect money to purchase his grandmothers long lost regalia. Jackson is a homeless Spokane Indian who lost everything, has been freefalling through life, flunking college and losing two marriages before completely having nothing to his name but the clothes on his back. His determination for raising the money to buy the stolen regalia from the pawn shop is all he can think about. Nevertheless, during the course of the story he squanders the money he receives from the generosity of others including some labor and luck on his end. Jackson’s generosity is counterproductive to his cause and leaves him with the same amount of money he…show more content…
“One day you have a home and the next you don’t” (Alexie 8), explains how he lives his life on the streets, wandering aimlessly through each day going about the same endless routine because he has no home to go to. His character seems to let good opportunities in his life just slip right through his fingers one after another but, does not explain the exact cause as to why he did not have the motivation to lead a normal life as he states vaguely in the text “piece by piece, I disappeared, I’ve been disappearing ever since” (Alexie 9). He seems to have lost his way and convinced himself that the only thing he is good at is being homeless. “I know it sounds strange to be proud of this, but it means a lot to me….Maybe you don’t understand the value of a clean bathroom, but I do” (Alexie 9), shows how Jackson accepts what he has become and cherishes what little life has to offer him to survive each new day, as his ancestors had practiced long ago, living off the land and being grateful for what mother nature had provided for them. In this sense, maybe Jackson needed to become homeless to get in touch with his culture and their ways, giving him back one piece of who he really is in this modern

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