Running head: CONFLICTS
Literacy Analysis Conflicts in Culture
ENG125: Introduction to Literature
Prompt # 2
Instructor: Jennifer Lapinel Spincken
Date: 28 May 2019
Working thesis- Despite Jackson determination to win back his grandmother’s stolen
regalia, he disappoints himself due to his alcoholism and unplanned spending which makes his
mission complicated since the white man bought the regalia and the only way to regain it is to
compensate the amount.
In the short story “What You Pawn I Will Redeem by Sherman Alexie, Jackson, junior and rose
of Sharon are the key actors. The story is written in the first- person point of view with Jackson as the
main character. Jackson is a Spokane Indian living in Pike Place Market, Seattle. The story focuses
on regalia that were stolen from his grandmother 50 years. The main conflict in this story is with
Jackson and the pawnbroker and personal conflict within Jackson himself. Despite Jackson
determination to win back his grandmother’s stolen regalia, he disappoints himself due to his
alcoholism and unplanned spending which makes his mission complicated since the white man
bought the regalia and the only way to regain it is to compensate the amount.
Jackson feels like an outsider on the American culture he lives and struggle with his own
identity and class. Lobo (2003) describes the homeless American Indians and alcoholism and how
they live their homeless lives. In the story “What You Pawn, I Will Redeem” the author describes
Jackson drinking habits and how he uses alcohol to depress the emotions he experiences in his quest
to repossess his grandmother regalia. Jackson tries to find friends to drink in Indian bars. The habit
shows that he is rooted to his Indian culture of drinking and spending. Jackson is determined to win
back the regalia that imply such a great amount to his Indian roots and heritage.
In the story, What You Pawn I Will Redeem, Jackson uses story telling approach which a
Native Indian American culture in an attempt is to win back his grandmother’s regalia. Selected
poem (2015) shows, how Native American verbal art was an oral performative tradition in which
stories were used as a means for the perseverance and delivery of cultural knowledge and societal
values. The journal connects the approach used by Jackson to win the white man on his side by
telling him stories about his grandmother’s regalia and how important it is to his family’s culture
and the Native American heritage. Jackson was able to convince the white man that the regalia
belonged to his family through his story tale. Although Jackson only knew the regalia through
photos, he described the yellow bead hidden in the armpit.
Jackson had a huge drinking problem and struggled with his alcoholism and homelessness.
Alexis (2003), “After about two hours of negotiating, we earned five dollars—good enough for a
bottle of fortified courage from the most beautiful 7-Eleven in the world”. The article “Religious
and Spiritual Practices among Homeless Urban American Indians and Alaska Natives with Severe
Alcohol Problems” is related to the story in so many ways since Johnson had a huge drinking
problem. The white man demonstrates compassion toward the Indian and encourages him in the
end. In the end the pawnbroker gave the regalia to Jackson, and Jackson was finally able to have a
dance with his grandmother.
In conclusion even though Jackson is determined to procure cash, it is my opinion that he
battled because of his alcoholism, compulsive spending, and the need to find out increasingly about
his Indian roots. Jackson used his story tales prowess and the humorous character to win the white
man to his side. Persistence Jackson demonstrated to the pawnshop his commitment to obtaining
possession of his lost family heritage helped him to overcome his personal struggles. Jackson fought
with himself and in the end, was remunerated with his grandma's conference regalia. As he wore the
regalia his life took on a totally different meaning as he hit the dance floor with his grandma in the
Alexie, S. (2003). What you pawn I will redeem. The New Yorker, (9). 169.
Lobo, S., & Vaughan, M. M. (2003). Substance Dependency Among Homeless American
Indians. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 35(1), 63-70.
The Function of Native American Storytelling as Means of Education in Luci Tapahonso’s
Selected Poems. (2015). Advances in Language and Literary Studies, 6(6).
ENG125: Introduction to Literature
Proposal for Final Paper Worksheet
Week 1 Prompt & Story Selection Log
Once you have decided on an approved prompt and approved text(s), respond to the questions
below. Please be mindful of the word count and double-space all of your responses. You are to meet
the minimum word requirement without going over the maximum number of words requested.
1. What is your chosen prompt for the literary analysis assignment?
(Include the number and first sentence of the prompt you chose from the list of prompts. The
prompt is the main paper topic, not the story itself or the guiding questions.)
I chose to use prompt 2 for my literary analysis. prompt #2: “In some stories, characters come
into conflict with the culture in which they live.”
2. What text will you write about? (Full story title & Author name) How does the text connect with
I will write about Sherman Alexie’s What You Pawn, I Will Redeem.
3. Read the story thoroughly and answer the following. Be sure to review key terms like character,
setting, and conflict before you answer:
a. Who is/are the main character(s) in this story?
Rose of Sharon, Junior and Jackson Jackson.
What is the setting of this story?
Pike Place Market, Seattle, WA
4. What is the main conflict in the story? (Write 100-150 words describing this conflict)
The main conflict in this story is with Jackson Jackson and the pawnbroker. Jackson and his crew
had scrapped up five dollars’ worth of change and had decided to head down to the pawn shop to
purchase some drinks. On there way down they encountered a new pawn shop and inside they
noticed Jackson’s grandmother’s regalia. The conflict begins when Jackson must muster up nine
hundred and ninety-nine dollars in one day to purchase his grandmothers’ regalia back. In
ENG125: Introduction to Literature
Jackson’s quest to gain money to purchase back his grandmother’s regalia he begins to have
issues with himself. Although, Jackson was trying to raise money to purchase the regalia back,
whenever he would receive money he would always use the money to purchase something. But
he didn’t just purchase something for himself, he made sure he helped other homeless Indians
along the way. In the end the pawnbroker gave the regalia to Jackson, and Jackson was finally
able to have a dance with his grandmother.
5. Write a working thesis for your literary analysis essay below.
Jackson Jackson had disappointed himself many times before, but when it comes to gaining his
grandmother’s regalia back he knew that he could not disappoint again. Determined and driven
Jackson set out to reclaim what was rightfully his families.
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