Jackson's Journey

The Plot and Jackson's Exceptional Goodness

The plot revolves around Jackson, a destitute Indian man. The character is presented as exceptional because of his enormous goodness, although impulsively. It is unusual for anyone of his social standing to be so charitable (Alexie, 2003).

Jackson's Generosity

Jackson's generosity is shown when, amid Mary's concerns, he insists on sharing a hundred dollars he received. He also buys drinks for Indians at the pub. He also goes out of his way to tip the waitress. He also pays for Aleut's meal at the Big Kitchen and is satirically complimented by the waitress.

Jackson's Conflicting Actions and Needs

His kindness is reckless and ill-advised. He shares the little money he has despite his immediate need for it to regain his grandmother's regalia. As such, his goal is negatively affected. His actions and needs are conflicting and characteristic of mental disorder. Rational people would do things that purpose to achieve their life goals rather than hinder them (Weinberger, 2003).

Jackson's Sense of Responsibility

Another important character depicted by Jackson is his sense of responsibility. He feels obligated to regain his grandmother's regalia from the pawn shop. To Jackson, the regalia is his life's purpose. He turns down police assistance and insists on personal recovery of the family heirloom. He also survives loss of allies in his quest for the acquisition of the regalia. However, this is in contrast with his drinking nature and irresponsible expenditure of his money.

Officer Williams' Compassion

In his compassion, Officer Williams offers some money to Jackson to accomplish his goal (Ramlochan, 2012). He accomplishes his goal, a surprise given his drunkenness and reckless use of money. Additionally, the Aleuts help illuminate Jackson's delusion. The others Mary, the waitress, pawn shop owner, and the other Indians at the bar act to show Jackson's absurdity and powerlessness.


Alexie, S. (2003). What You Will Pawn, I will Redeem. Retrieved from The New Yorker: www.newyorker.com/magazine/2003/04/21/what-you-pawn-i-will-redeem

Ramlochan, S. (2012). Story Sundays: "What You Pawn, I Will Redeem" by Sherman Alexie. Retrieved from Novel Niche: novelniche.net/2012/05/06/story-sundays-what-youpawn-i-will-redeem-by-sherman-alexie/

Weinberger, E. (2003). Off the Reservation. Retrieved from The New York Times: www.nytimes.com/2003/06/15/books/off-the-reservation.html

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