Cultural Identity Analysis

707 Words3 Pages
To begin with, cultural identity allows people to redeem their own spirit and gain vitality. Jackson’s Indian cultural identity redeems him from drifting through life. Whereas before Jackson redeems his grandmother’s regalia, he feels he has been “disappearing every since”. However, when he gets the regalia back, he mentions “Pedestrians stopped. Cars stopped. The city stopped. They all watched me dance with my grandmother”. Jackson’s triumph changed him from an invisible homeless Indian to a visible person by reuniting his own identity and culture. Initially, Jackson is like other homeless Indians that are common and boring with no striking identity; while the regalia arouses Jackson’s desire of returning his traditional cultural identity…show more content…
Most homeless Indians are facing financial difficulties and are even struggling to survive in Seattle. Jackson has been homeless for six years and makes a living with free public facilities, such as free access to bathrooms. Jackson also has a habit of listening for others’ heartbeats to make sure the person is alive. Junior, who travels from his Colville homeland to Portland, dies in an alley from exposure. The homeless Indians are wandering around at the edge of death and survive, the gradual death and Jackson’s clam attitude towards his friends’ death illustrated the vulnerability of homeless Indians’ life. Moreover, most of the homeless Indians are holding numb attitudes toward their life. Jackson was born and raised in the Spokane reservation. Then he was taught under the American education system, which makes his heart away from his original Spokane culture and cuts off his links to all historical tradition. His sense of segregation from his original culture grows from this point, which also led to the problem of not accepting the reality. Under this kind of condition, Jackson has became a numb and cold person who is indifferent to everything around him. Later in his life, he went to college but is soon flunked out of college. Jackson also has many wives and children, but he is not able to take up the responsibilities. Under such tragic trajectory, Jackson can only…show more content…
Excessive generosity cramped Jackson’s progress in a greedy world. Jackson is motivated to save his money for redeeming the regalia but every time when he gets money, he shares the wealth and never feels bad. When Jackson wins a hundred of dollars from the lottery tickets, he gives Marry, who is a girl he loves, one of the bill with the reason of “when you win, you’re supposed to share with your family”. Jackson makes this statement and the action of sharing money as if he is taking Mary and all his friends as a part of his family. Generosity and family are highly valued by Indians; they respect the person who gives generously instead of person who is with large savings. Jackson’s generous on several occasions results in rapid expenditure instead of the increasing of his savings. As a result, Jackson can’t improve his own life and is unable to raise enough money for the
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