May 11, 2018

What You Pawn I Will Redeem essay sample


‘What You Pawn I Will Redeem’ is a short story written by Sherman Alexie. It is told in the first person and its main character is the narrator. Jackson Jackson, who is the protagonist of the short story, is a middle-aged American Indian.

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The story begins with Jackson telling the reader that he has been homeless for six years. Originally, he came to Seattle to study but quickly dropped out and began working various blue collar jobs. Jackson calls himself an ‘effective’ homeless meaning that he knows how to exist in the society, how to make friends be around people. What is particularly interesting regarding the main character is that he assumes that all of his readers are white which means that they cannot possibly understand the problems of homeless Indians.

Speaking about the hidden message and the meaning of this story, it highlights a very serious issue for Native Americans. To be more specific, the idea is to show how Native Americans are viewed as marginalized people of the society as well as how they have to live below the poverty line meaning that the majority of them unfortunately does not have enough means to live a trouble-free and comfortable life. Another vital aspect to highlight is that Native Americans have lost a lot over the course of history, especially in terms of their identity and original land.

Taking everything into consideration, the purpose of the short story ‘What You Pawn I Will Redeem’ is to show how Native Americans are constantly portrayed as marginalized in the society as well as to demonstrate the loss of identity throughout the whole ethnic group.

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