I Will Redeem
Thebook “What You Pawn ” by Sherman Alexie, is a sadstory about a Native American Indian named Jackson Jackson who camein into Seattle. The book was first published in April 2003. The maincharacter Jackson Jackson is on a quest to regain his grandmother`spowwow regalia which was stolen. The reclamation of his grandmother`spowwow regalia is bound to enable him to acquire personal fulfillmentand identity because it was a sign of his cultural identity. JacksonJackson needs one thousand dollars in twenty to be able to reclaimthe powwow regalia, and his situation he is not able to afford thatkind of money (Alexie 45).
Thetheme of cultural homelessness is evident in the book, and Jacksonneeds to reclaim the pawwow to regain his cultural identity. The bookbegins with the phrase "One day you have a home and the next youdon`t. The shelter is a basic need. And in this case, Jackson ishomeless and is living in the street of Seattle. Jackson, just likeall other Native Americans, is faced with the issue of lost lands andproperty because of forceful removal from their homes. Thehomelessness of Jackson represents his material, psychological andcultural states of lack as well (Alexie 45).
Anothertheme that is evident in the book is the theme of stereotyping andindividual identity. Identity is a major concern in the story. Everytime Jackson introduces himself, he claims that he is an alcoholicmiddle aged man of Indian Spokane origin. Most of the other Americanmales of about his age were homeless, but Jackson insists on hishomelessness and always claimed of how he is going to salvage hisgrandmother`s powwow regalia to get back his cultural identity(McQuown 23).
Thebook insists on how Jackson was desperate for a home and his culturalidentity, but at the same time, Jackson showed his incapability ofacquiring the home and the cultural identity because he would alwaysdrink off all the money he got. In my opinion, Jackson is desperatefor a place to stay but is not focused enough to keep his discipline(McQuown 23). The book is a contemporary book, and it shows theplight of the poor who want so much in life but do only you little toachieve what they want. The Author of the book clearly displaysexternal factors that revolve around the plight of the NativeAmerican and how they were able to overcome their challenges. Thispaper brings into our understanding Alexie‟s inclination of givingNative Americans as a community that is highly marginalized in theirhomeland. As the book suggests, I will redeem refers to the journeytowards acquiring back the cultural identity.
Fromback in history, the arrival of the whites in America was a bad omento the Native American’s because they displaced them from theirland. Their lad was grabbed off by the whites because their mainagenda was to assimilate the Indians into being whites. Slowly byslowly, the Indians lost their culture and assimilated the culture ofthe whites. They were also influenced by the American’s andresulted in alcoholism culture which made them lose focus of life.The book “What You Pawn ” by Sherman Alexie is meantto show the plight of the plight of the Indians and their journeytowards recovery of everything they had lost
Alexie,Sherman. "What You Pawn ." NewYorker-New Yorker Magazine Incorporated- (2003):168-177.
McQuown,Nina Budabin. "Literature, Food, and Gender." Encyclopediaof Food and Agricultural Ethics.Springer Netherlands, 2014. 1338-1345.
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