What is the act of kindness in “What You Pawn I Will Redeem”?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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You could actually argue that there are several acts of kindness in this impressive short story. However, the most significant comes at the end of the tale, when Jackson returns to the pawn shop with nothing more than a $5 bill in the hope of somehow being able to buy back his grandmother's regalia, which had been priced for $999 the day before. Much to Jackson's surprise, the pawnshop owner gives Jackson the regalia for free, because he worked hard for the money that he had. In spite of the way that Jackson gained money through various means, and then wasted it on drink and food for both himself and others, the fact that he was able to save $5 obviously impacted the pawnshop owner and helped him see that the right thing would be to give Jackson his grandmother's regalia.

However, let us not forget the policeman who gives Jackson $30, even though he suspects that he will take the money and spend it on alcohol. When Jackson asks him why he gave him the money, he responds by saying "There aint no such thing as an atheist cop." Jackson is therefore the object of kindness by both the pawnshop owner and the policeman.


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