Stereotypes Of Native Americans In 'What You Pawn I Will Redeem'

analytical Essay
1091 words
1091 words

Stereotypes dictate a certain group in either a good or bad way, however more than not they give others a false interpretation of a group. They focus on one factor a certain group has and emphasize it drastically to the point that any other aspect of that group becomes lost. Media is one of the largest factors to but on blame for the misinterpretation of groups in society. In Ten Little Indians, there are many stereotypes of Native Americans in the short story “What You Pawn I Will Redeem”. The story as a whole brings about stereotypes of how a Native American in general lives and what activities they partake in. By doing so the author, Alexie Sherman, shows that although stereotypes maybe true in certain situations, that stereotype is only …show more content…

Similarly, the popular tv series Parks and Recreation, does the same in the episode “Harvest Festival” by exposing how easy we stereotype certain groups. In both portrayals of Native Americans, they make obvious how easy it is to stereotype and believe a stereotype of a specific group without noticing it or even noticing the other qualities a certain group possesses. In the short story “What You Pawn I Will Redeem”, Sherman Alexie uses the two most well known stereotypes of Native Americans today, that they are alcoholics and homeless. These are more modern day stereotypes but they fall under the the main stereotype, that Native Americans are helpless and uncivilized. Alexie’s short story focuses on a character named Jackson Jackson, who happens to be both homeless and an alcoholic. Jackson is walking past a pawn shop when he notices his grandmother’s regalia that was stolen from his family fifty years ago. The owner of the pawn shop gives Jackson twenty-four hours to come up with the money for the regalia. The story takes us throughout his journey which consist mostly of Jackson buying alcohol, food, and even some lottery tickets. Jackson would acquire money through a variety of situations right after getting money he ended …show more content…

In the humorous and enticing tv series, Parks and Recreation we see this happen to a Native American character named Ken Hotate. Ken is the leader of the tribe, along with the owner of a casino. The director of the parks department, Leslie Knope, is trying to host a carnival for the community but the only place it can be is on the battle site of Indian Hill, a seven day battle that his tribe lost. During this battle a lot of their tribe was killed including their chief who was shot one hundred and twenty two times. Basically the episode shines light on how bad the United States treated the Native Americans in the past but while doing so it also portrays stereotypes including their supposed uncivilized ways. Leslie begins to tell Ken that there is no way they can move the carnival from the ancient burial site, so Ken replies saying he understands but hopes that his ancestors don’t place a curse upon the carnival. After saying that it shows him alone saying that he knows how white people are terrified of curses. Obviously there is irony in this fact that he is using his culture’s stereotypes to get his way but it works. In the end, Leslie and Ken work things out but she asks him to hold a “sacred” ceremony at the carnival showing that he has released the curse on the carnival. He agrees and shows up wearing a chest plate along with a

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how stereotypes dictate a certain group in good or bad ways, but more often than not, they give others false interpretations. media is one of the largest factors to but on blame for the misinterpretation of groups
  • Analyzes how sherman alexie's short story "what you pawn i will redeem" focuses on the stereotype that native americans are helpless and uncivilized.
  • Analyzes how the enticing tv series, parks and recreation, portrays stereotypes of native americans, including their supposed uncivilized ways.
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