What You Pawn I Will Redeem


Sherman Alexie

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What You Pawn I Will Redeem Characters

Jackson Jackson

Jackson is a homeless Spokane American Indian man living on the streets of Seattle. He is an alcoholic with an unspecified mental illness, and before he ended up homeless, he dropped out of college, was… read analysis of Jackson Jackson


Agnes was Jackson’s grandmother. Although she died of breast cancer in 1979, years before the story takes place, she and her powwow regalia are in many ways the heart of the story. Each of… read analysis of Agnes

The Pawnbroker

The pawnbroker is an old white man who claims to have paid $1,000 for Jackson’s grandmother’s powwow regalia, which was stolen from her 50 years ago. The pawnbroker immediately assumes that Jackson is… read analysis of The Pawnbroker

The Aleut Cousins

The Aleut Cousins are three American Indians from Alaska that Jackson first discovers crying on a bench while looking out over the water. Jackson describes that the Aleuts, like many others, came down to Seattle… read analysis of The Aleut Cousins

Officer Williams

Officer Williams is a Seattle police officer who has gotten to know Jackson well over the years that he’s been homeless. While the way Williams talks to Jackson and helps him out suggest that he… read analysis of Officer Williams
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Junior is a part of Jackson’s “regular crew.” He is a Colville American Indian, and he makes Jackson feel insecure because he has what Jackson views as distinctively American Indian features, whereas Jackson sees… read analysis of Junior

Rose of Sharon

Rose of Sharon is a part of Jackson’s “regular crew.” She’s Yakama American Indian from Washington, and Jackson describes her a short woman with a tall personality. She’s with Jackson when he initially finds… read analysis of Rose of Sharon

Big Boss

Big Boss works at Real Change, a social service organization in Seattle whose mission it is to alleviate poverty and homelessness. Homeless people like Jackson go to Big Change to make money by selling the… read analysis of Big Boss
Minor Characters
Kay is a young Korean woman who works at her parents’ grocery store in Seattle. Jackson claims to be in love with Kay and fantasizes about her despite being much older than her. He insists on giving her $20 of the $100 he wins in the lottery.
Irene is a Duwamish American Indian woman whom Jackson meets and has a sexual encounter with at Big Heart’s bar.