What You Pawn I Will Redeem

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Analysis of What You Pawn I Will Redeem

Analysis of What You Pawn I Will Redeem

Critical Overview

"What You Pawn I Will Redeem" appeared in The New Yorker magazine in April 2003? It is also part of Sherman Alexei's collection of short stories Ten Little Indians, published later that year. The story was included in the 2004 collection The Best American Short Stories and was a 2005 O. Henry Prize Juror's Favorite. In her essay on why she selected "What You Pawn I Will Redeem" as her favorite story of 2005, novelist and O.

The story is told through the character of Jackson. He is a homeless alcoholic of Spokane Indian descent who finds his grandmother's regalia at a pawn shop. He sets out on a quest to raise $1000 and gain this family heirloom. As one can easily assume, this notion very naturally applies to aesthetics, as one's vision of art, feeds one vision of what is aesthetically compelling. The story focuses on the obstacles Jackson faces and the humor he uses to get through his difficult position. Alexie is extremely similar to Jackson as he is a Spokane Indian, suffered from alcoholism, and also is known for his quick wit. Jackson himself is very generous on several occasions. The money he accumulates is spent on alcohol for his friends at 7-11, and then later at the bar where he buys shots for all the Indians with his lotto winnings. He takes out three Aleut men he met on a bench for breakfast. He also shares the money he won with way as a gesture of kindness and says, “It's an Indian thing. When you win, you are supposed to share with your family” (Crawford, 1985).

In the entire story, Jackson managed to distance himself from his predicament of being penniless and homeless. He did it again buy regalia of his grandmother, which was seen by him in a local pawn shop. In this story the reader are given the impression that the Jackson has accepted the circumstances came to him, he is intelligent, but bit unlucky to have turned out the way he did. Because of this reader create sympathy towards Jackson, readers find easy to predict why he acts so distant. He tries to save his regalia of his grandmother, so he can do something valuable in his meaningless life.

In this story Jackson was offend called as homeless Spokane Indian. He was making strong efforts to earn money and buy back his grandma's neck less. In the entire story he earns money. This story allows reader to see the kindness of Jackson; his kindness left him with little money at the end of the story. This character has many flaws but because of the kindness he had he was not able to complete his objective of buying the neck less. He was use to help other and showed them kindness despite of being in a position to do ...