What You Pawn I Will Redeem Character Analysis Essay

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Jackson: More Than Face Value From being a college dropout to a divorced, homeless alcoholic, the narrator of Alexie’s “What You Pawn I Will Redeem”, Jackson Jackson, represents everything I hope to never become. But why do I still like him? The fact that he spends what little money he has on “bottles of imagination” (16), drinks until he passes out, and then wakes up on a set of railroad tracks is enough to convince me that I do not want to end up this way. But, considering all of this, Jackson has some qualities that make me look past this behavior. I find that I like Jackson because, despite his situation, he exhibits compassion and generosity toward others. In the face of life’s misfortunes, Jackson treats others with compassion. As he walks to the wharf and runs into the three Aleut cousins, he shows genuine concern for their troubles. He asks, “How long has your boat been…show more content…
In spite of his poor economic state, Jackson is not what we would call greedy. Pressed for time and practically broke, he runs all over town attempting to acquire the money needed for his grandmother’s regalia. While frustrating to see Jackson blow what little money he has time after time, he does not merely waste it. He says, “I walked into Big Heart’s and counted fifteen Indians—eight men and seven women. I didn’t know any of them… I laid my eighty dollars on the bar top… ‘All right,’ I said. ‘Me and all my cousins here are going to be drinking eighty shots…” (21-22). Although ill-advised, his generosity at the bar deserves the utmost admiration. Afterward, Jackson once again proves his giving nature. He offers to buy the three Aleut cousins breakfast with what little money he has left. While at the “Big Kitchen”, his conversation with the waitress proves insightful: “‘You guys want separate checks?’ the waitress asked. ‘No, I’m paying,’ I said. ‘Aren’t you the generous one,’ she said.”
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