Essay about What You Pawn I Will Redeem By Sherman Alexie

1176 Words May 9th, 2016 5 Pages
The short story What You Pawn I Will Redeem by Sherman Alexie details a day in the life of a homeless Native American named Jackson Jackson. Jackson is on a quest that, to a majority of readers, appears to be about obtaining his grandmother 's powwow regalia. Upon further examination though, one can come to the conclusion that Jackson is in fact searching for his personal identity. Donald, one of The Rich Brother 's main characters, would undoubtedly sympathize with Jackson 's plight, for he too searches for identity throughout the story. Considering that Jackson is distant from his homeland, one of his foremost challenges in life is resisting acculturation and assimilation. In order to fight this, he has taken it upon himself to obtain his grandmother 's regalia, which is symbolic of his lost heritage and identity as a Native American. Although both characters avidly search for their identities, it is unclear whether or not Donald ever discovers his; whereas, with Jackson it is quite obvious that his mission to rediscover his cultural identity is a success.
It becomes quite clear right off the bat that Jackson has lost touch with his roots. He begins the story with “One day you have a home and the next you don’t” (Alexie 1433). This sentence explicitly exposes the state of homelessness that Jackson lives in, but it also implicitly exposes the cultural aspect of homelessness the Native Americans live in as they are linked to an unfortunate past of cultural denial and stolen…

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