What You Pawn I Will Redeem Questions and Answers
by Sherman Alexie

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What literary devices are used in "What You Pawn I Will Redeem"?

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Jackson Jackson, the protagonist in Sherman Alexie’s story, states that “we Indians are great storytellers and liars and mythmakers.” To support this claim, he uses literary devices to paint a vivid story about his quest to attain his grandmother’s regalia, which he finds in a pawn shop. One of these devices includes anecdotal flashbacks, wherein Jackson recalls the stories his grandmother used to tell about her life. However, there are also many sentence-level devices that serve to illustrate Jackson's personality and outlook on life.

Jackson, an alcoholic Indian in Seattle, briefly describes his life leading up to the actual events of the story: “I didn’t break hearts into pieces overnight. I broke them slowly and carefully.” Alexie uses hyperbole , likening the failure of a romance to a literal broken heart, to establish Jackson as an honest narrator with a rough background. The narrator’s sense of humor shows through in the line “bought three bottles of imagination,”...

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