How does Sherman Alexie complicate stereotypical notions about American Indians in "What You Pawn I Will Redeem"?

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Sherman Alexie writes about the Native American in the Western part of the United States.  In “What You Pawn I Will Redeem,” the protagonist Jackson Jackson uses his anguish of being an Indian in a white-dominated culture to support his inability to complete whatever he starts.  Something in his makeup does not allow him to connect with reality. 

Jackson is an atypical hero.  He has a good heart and wants to do better in life, but fails miserably most of the time. Nothing really gets through his alcoholic anesthesia except seeing his grandmother’s regalia in a pawn shop that he remembers from his childhood.  His overwhelming desire to buy it back haunts the rest of the story. 

But Jackson’s alcoholism stops him in every direction that he turns. He is also deeply depressed about his life and failures since he:

  • Left his marriages
  • Fathered two or three children (does not know for sure)
  • Dropped out of college
  • Quit or was fired from several jobs

His mission now is to get the money to...

(The entire section contains 578 words.)

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