Analysis Of What You Pawn I Will Redeem

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In the first line of “What You Pawn I Will Redeem” Sherman Alexie writes “one day you have a home and the next you don’t” (1558). That sentence is the main idea of the whole story. Native Americans are struggling to be accepted in today’s society because the majority of them are affected by poverty. In “What You Pawn I Will Redeem” Alexie writes about a homeless Spokane Indian who is trying to earn money to buy back his grandmother’s regalia from a pawn shop. The story of this homeless Spokane Indian, Jackson Jackson, correlates to a painting by D Rogale, named Homeless in Seattle. This painting shows the Seattle skyline in the background, while in the foreground it shows a person’s feet with torn and dirty socks on them. The short story by…show more content…
SAMHSA’s expert panel also put together a fact sheet about homelessness among Native Americans, they state facts such as how “behavioral health problems, disrupted families, domestic violence, and housing shortages” play a major role in homelessness (1). However, Native Americans face even more challenges such as “acculturation, traditional values at odds with modern life, racism and stereotyping, and unresolved grief from historical trauma” (1). There are many stereotypes about Native Americans. Some of those include being alcoholics, gamblers, and not being mentally stable. Jackson, the main character in “What You Pawn I Will Redeem” is homeless out on the streets in Seattle. He has a drinking problem, which has given him health problems, and he doesn’t spend the money that he receives wisely. This shows that the stereotypes that are associated with Native Americans are, in some cases, extremely likely to be true. Homelessness and stereotypes are the central points for this short story and it is brought up throughout and through the Homeless in Seattle painting. To coincide with those stereotypes, the SAMHSA conducted research on the health of homeless Native Americans. They have concluded that “high rates of alcohol and substance abuse, mental health disorders, suicide, violence, and behavior-related chronic diseases in American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities are well documented” (7). Many of the health problems that Native Americans face are because of their own individual behavioral health problems. In other words, the way they consume alcohol causes many of their health problems. The SAMHSA has found out that for Native Americans, “the alcohol-related death rate is over five times greater than the U.S. rate for all races”
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