What You Pawn I Will Redeem Summary

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Pages: 4

In Sherman Alexie’s “What You Pawn I Will Redeem,” his main character Jackson Jackson is a Spokane Indian, who when of age moved to Seattle to attend college. He is now a middle aged, homeless, alcoholic Indian, who “…flunked out,… worked blue collar jobs, married a few times, and fathered two or three kids.” Jackson is reckless with money, women, and alcohol, but continually takes care of those around him, while simultaneously using them to take care of himself. He begins a quest for money after he finds his grandmothers regalia in a pawn shop that was stolen 50 years ago, although he doesn’t save any of the money he is given or earns. Jackson Jackson’s draw to the regalia symbolizes the draw one feels for their own family, the regalia is also a symbol for things once lost, such as …show more content…
There are somethings he may turn around but throughout the story Jackson doesn’t give priority to the regalia, as he wins, and is given, money that he could put towards his regalia. Instead of selling all those papers, or using his winnings from the lottery ticket to purchase a few more, or just saving the money, Jackson uses the money to buy booze, and for people he doesn’t even know. If the regalia was to be a turning point for Jackson, he would have cared for it as much as he told Officer Williams he did.
Throughout Sherman Alexie’s “What You Pawn I Will Redeem” Jackson Jackson shows all sides of his personality, form his alcoholic ways, to his tendency to take care of others. The regalia that is all so important to him is a symbol for all the things that went wrong in his life. The regalia symbolizes his loneliness for his family, his losing battle with life, and the loss of his tribe, grandmother, and family. As Jackson’s character seems unredeemable, Sherman Alexie shows us that he is, it just takes a little