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Analysis of Sherman Alexie

Analysis of Sherman Alexie - Mickey Green March 3 2008...

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Mickey Green March 3, 2008 Analytical Paper What You Pawn I Will Redeem: Analysis In the short story, “What You Pawn I Will Redeem,” by Sherman Alexie, a homeless Indian, Jackson Jackson, goes on a journey to reclaim his grandmother’s stolen powwow regalia from a Seattle pawnshop by trying to raise $999. The story, which is told over the period of twenty-four hours, illustrates Alexie’s concern with the Indian search for identity and the inherent universal trait of goodness in people. Jackson begins his story by telling us that he is homeless. “One day you have a home and the next you don’t” (Alexie 1). Jackson moved to Seattle for college, but failed after two semesters, and then worked various blue-collar jobs. In Jackson’s opinion, the only thing he is good at is being homeless; essentially, being homeless is Jackson’s occupation. He knows where to get free food, how to get around Seattle, and in which restaurants and stores to use the private bathroom. Jackson is friends with two other homeless Indian people, Rose of Sharon and Junior, who he describes as “my teammates, my defenders, my posse” (Alexie 1). Jackson spends most of his day either pan-handling or drinking with his friends. According to Jackson, most of the Indians from the Northwest region come from Alaska on fishing boats. Once they come ashore they tend to squander their hard earned money in the Indian bars and eventually go “broke and broker” (Alexie 2). Jackson himself is a Spokane Indian, whose people have lived within a hundred-mile radius of Spokane for more than ten thousand years.
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