Reflection on What You Pawn I Will Redeem by Sherman Alexie

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 930 |

Pages: 2|

5 min read

Published: Jun 9, 2021

Words: 930|Pages: 2|5 min read

Published: Jun 9, 2021

The short story “What you will pawn I will redeem” by Sherman Alexie was a very great and eye-catching story that I truly enjoyed. It depicts a young character Jackson squared also known as “Jackson Jackson” a Spokane Indian boy from Seattle who is on a journey to regain his grandmother's regalia. Throughout the book, Jackson squared is faced with many adversities that are keeping him on the path and prolonging his goal that he so desperately wishes to reach. While his intentions are both good and reasonable, Jackson is too friendly and has let his alcoholism interfere with his goals without seeking help.

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After numerous attempts at the lottery ticket Jackson Jackson finally won and had in his possession him 5 20 dollar bills. Unfortunately due to his kindness, he was down 1 bill leaving him with $80, “Thank you”, I said and gave her one of the bills”. In the story, Jackson has let his addiction interfere with his goals. When he earns the money from winning the lottery he goes and starts wasting it as if it had no value, “eight dollars on the bar top” he goes on a drinking spree and proceeds to drink 80 shots “me and all my cousins are going to drink 80 shots”.

There are many different diverse themes in the story but the one that stood out to me the most is perseverance. The word perseverance according to the dictionary is “persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. '' Throughout the story Jackson was indeed impersistence. He had 24 hours to come out with a sum of 999$. There were times where he should have kept his money but due to his generosity and alcoholism this was a very hard task. Although we have to give Jackson the benefit of the doubt due to the fact that not many people would have endured through the impossibility of coming up with 999$ in less than 24 hours, especially considering the odds against him in the sense of him being a homeless alcoholic. The vast majority of people would have given up without even trying. Jackson, however, not only tried to accomplish the goal, but does it with extreme optimism. Jackson simply has so much endurance when faced with adversity that he genuinely feels he can win against such insurmountable odds. I personally believe that I can relate to Jackson due to the fact that I currently play football which is a sport where many challenges occur. In life we are faced with many rigorous challenges but the way you attack those challenges says a lot about your character. The shorty teaches us that we should never give up when times are hard we should keep striving and never forget our goal.

There are many literary elements in the story, but I’ve picked the ones that stood out the most which are symbolism and imagery. For symbolism “my family always sewed one yellow bead somewhere on their regalia. But we always hid it where you had to search hard to find it”. The Regalia is somehow a symbol to Jackson’s Patrimony. He takes Amit if pride in his heritage that’s why he really wants to regain it. Another example is imagery “Rose of Sharon is a big woman, about 7 feet tall if your measuring overall effect, and about 5 feet tall if you’re talking physical about the physical. She’s a Yakama Indian of the Wishram Variety. Junior is a Colville, but there are 199 tribes that make up the Colville, so he could be anything. He’s good looking, though, like he just stepped out of some “Don't litter the Earth public service advertisement'. He's got those great big cheekbones that are like planets, you know with little moons orbiting around them”. This is a representation of Jackson’s Friends companions. This helps us get an image of Aboriginal people and what there like physically and culturally. Through the story we learn that Rose and Junior abandoned Jackson “Rose of Sharon was gone when I woke up. I heard later she had hitchhiked back to toppenish and was living with her sister on the reservation”. “I wanted to share the good news with Junior. I walked back to him, but he was gone. I later heard he has hitchhiked down to Portland, Oregon, and died of exposure in an alley behind the Hilton Hotel”. I find this very ironic due to the fact that friends are supposed to help each other and they were supposed to help him but left unexpectedly like Rose of Sharron who left without saying goodbye. But through all the adversities Jackson still managed to achieve his goal which is to regain his grandmother's regalia so I believe that the meaning of the short story/theme is perseverance. The author is trying to portray a message which is don’t give up when things are hard, keep working and good things will happen. We can take Jackson as an example he kept working hard and finally got back his grandmother's regalia and was dancing at the end.

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“What you pawn I will redeem” by Sherman Alexie was personally one of the most interesting short story that I have ever read. I would strongly recommend this text to many of my friends. I took away lots of things from my short read that I can apply in my day to day life. The white man came to New France and took everything from the natives and won, but Jackson took back something even more precious, which is his heritage so he won. 

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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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Reflection On What You Pawn I Will Redeem By Sherman Alexie. (2021, Jun 09). GradesFixer. Retrieved April 13, 2024, from
“Reflection On What You Pawn I Will Redeem By Sherman Alexie.” GradesFixer, 09 Jun. 2021,
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