Essay 1: “What You Pawn, I Will Redeem” Sherman Alexie’s "What you Pawn, I Will Redeem" appears on the surface to be a simply written story of a homeless, alcoholic Indian in Seattle who is trying to earn enough money to reclaim his grandmothers Pow Wow regalia from a local pawn shop. But upon looking closely, there are many symbolic passages that my lead a person to much deeper conclusions. Throughout the story there are many clues that hint at the fact that this quest may not have been real, but a more "spiritual" experience for him. It could be argued that Jackson Jackson was on a modern day vision quest. In the introduction of the story, Jackson bluntly describes himself as a homeless Indian who “...married two or three times, …show more content…
In the story, we are introduced to the three Aleut fishermen. Immediately before their appearance, Jackson is sitting by the water. Alexie writes "...salt always smells like memory." (13). This statement indicates that the following encounter with the Aleuts may be a part of his delusional encounter as well. Although not fully rounded characters, they contribute to his tale. Throughout the story, the three Aleuts are also longing and searching for their home,
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In Jackson’s mind, he expected the Indians to thrive as they did in their current home, except there would be no white men. Three chiefs, each one from the Chippewa, Potawatomi, and Ottawa tribes, came forward to the White House and told about their suffering. They said they were promised land as fertile as Illinois, but received land that a snake couldn’t live on. They could not live in the prairie when they were from the woods. Thousands of Indian people suffered because Jackson heard what they said
Jackson wouldn’t say why he was homeless. He said it was his secret and that Indians had to work hard at keeping their secrets. I think Jackson was proud to be homeless because he also said that “being
At the end of the story, although Jackson has no money he has clearly learned a great deal, based upon his struggles, and has found a sense of something worthwhile to fight for in life. Eventually, the pawn shop owner decides to give Jackson his grandmother's regalia. This illustrates the fact that Jackson is not invisible as he once feared. He can win the respect
The narrator is symbolically baptized in the dirty waters of Greasy Lake. He foreshadows when he comments that the mistake of dropping his keys “[opens] the floodgate” of the events of the night to come. The water imagery helps emphasize the baptism and rebirth of the narrator and his friends
In a Bill Moyer’s interview “Sherman Alexie on Living Outside Borders”, Moyer’s interviews Native American author and poet Sherman Alexie. In the Moyer’s and Company interview, Alexie shares his story about the struggles that he endured during his time on a Native American reservation located at Wellpinit, Washington. During the interview, Alexie goes in-depth about his conflicts that plagued the reservation. In an award-winning book by Sherman Alexie called “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian”, Alexie writes semi-autobiography that reveals his harsh life on the reservation through a fictional character named Arnold Spirit Junior. In Alexie’s semi-autobiography, Alexie shares his struggles of a poor and alcoholic family, the
General Jackson's mother was a COMMON PROSTITUTE brought to this country by British soldiers! She afterward married a MULATTO MAN, with whom she had several children, of which number General Jackson IS ONE!!
In his annual message delivered in 1830 to the Congress, Andrew Jackson says that the government is willing to give the Indians new home far away from the „settled, civilized, christian people” just because he thinks they are savages and cannot live next to normal people, and even further, he wants them to be grateful about it. He says they should be happy that he removes them from places where their ancestors lived and died. Jackson names it a kind, generous gesture and persuades people that this is the only solution, that Indians cannot live among other people because they are too wild, too little civilized and have to live away from civilization.
Jim had three wives, all of which were Native Americans. The first wife he had was a woman from the Flathead tribe. Once she died, Jim married a woman from the Ute tribe. After the Ute woman’s death, Jim married a Shoshone woman.
The environment that they are in causes many of the Native Americans in this area to be troubled and live poor lives. He moved to Seattle for college but failed out. After that he worked blue-collar jobs. It seems that all the Indians in the story he mentions are always working these rough blue-collar jobs. They go to the bars after long hard work days or they come in from other areas on fishing boats with some money, but nothing after that (13). They wait for the boats to come back , but never do and after that there is no other opportunity for them. It is either they have jobs like that or none like Jackson. Jackson has been on both sides, but never has had the chance to better himself, partly because of his alcoholism, but also because of where he has come
Once Jackson takes office in 1829, almost immediately he begins a crusade to expel the Indians out of white inhabited eastern lands. Despite his belief that there is no conceivable way for the Natives and settlers to ever live together and coexist in the same community, he does seem to show awareness and what appears to be remorse towards the Indians and what they have been subjected to. In his First Annual Message on December 8, 1829 Jackson states to the Senate and of the House of Representatives:
Anthony Johnson was a black man who arrived in Virginia around 1621 and was purchased to work as a slave in the tobacco fields of the Bennett Plantation. At that time he was merely known as “Antonio a Negro”, as it wasn’t common for black slaves to have last names. On March 22nd, 1622, an Indian attack on the Bennett plantation left only 12 surviving slaves, one of them being Anthony. In that same year a woman named Mary arrived at the plantation. Being that she was the only woman living at the Bennett plantation in 1625, Anthony could be considered fortunate to have received her as his wife. Together they had at least four children. It isn’t known how Anthony received his full name of Anthony Johnson, but the
The main character in the story is Jackson Jackson, a homeless Salish Indian. Jackson lives in Spokane, Washington. His character is described as having working numerous blue collared jobs, having been married multiple times and fathering multiple children. In the story, Jackson eludes to himself having a mental disorder. His character is extremely resourceful with both food and personal care. In the story, Jackson reveals a bit about himself through his introduction of other characters. Jackson states that Indians “Indians are great storytellers and liars and mythmakers” ("ENGL200: Composition and Literature" 87).
Sherman Alexie writes in his story, What You Pawn I Will Redeem about a homeless Salish Indian named Jackson Jackson. Alexie takes readers on Jackson’s journey to acquire enough money to purchase back his grandmother’s stolen powwow regalia. Throughout the story, Jackson’s relationships with other charters ultimately define his own character. Alexie, a well know Native American author tells an all too common tale of poverty and substance abuse in the Native American community through his character Jackson. The major character flaw of Jackson is his kindness, which ultimately becomes his greatest asset when fate allows him to purchase back his grandmother’s powwow regalia from a pawn broker for only five dollars.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian features two main settings, the Pacific Northwest towns of Wellpinit and Reardan. These contrasting locations – one an impoverished Indian reservation and the other an affluent white community – become very important to the ever-shifting identity of our narrator, Arnold Spirit, Jr.