Is there an epiphany in What You Pawn I Will Redeem?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I would think that the ending is a type of epiphany.  The lack of emotional connection that had defined Jackson for so long in the narrative is interrupted by the end.  At the moment he is dancing with his grandmother's regalia, an epiphany is reached:

Pedestrians stopped. Cars stopped. The city stopped. They all watched me dance with my grandmother. I was my grandmother, dancing.

This is an epiphany for a couple of reasons.  For one of the first times, Jackson is emotionally and spiritually connected with something in a positive way.  Jackson had been defined as one who had been unable to forge anything in way of emotional connection and understanding.  With his dancing, one sees that Jackson has understood the power of spiritual connection with something larger than himself.  This moment is an epiphany because of its nature of awakening.  At the same time, Jackson has understood the interlinked nature of being in the world, one that represents how interlinked individuals are.  The path towards getting to the point where Jackson is dancing and unified with his grandmother is one in which there were many individuals responsible for many different elements.  In this, Jackson once again understands how he is not alone and isolated from others, but rather recognizes his state of being as one in which individuals are indelibly linked to one another.


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