What You Pawn I Will Redeem

by

Sherman Alexie

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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 his own features as evidence of the destruction that colonialism wreaked on indigenous people. Junior is drunkenly passed out for most of the story, and Jackson returns to him periodically to make sure he is still alive and to rummage around in his clothes for money. Eventually, Jackson returns to find that Junior, like Rose, has abandoned him. Junior had hitchhikes to Oregon, where he tragically dies of exposure in an alley behind a Hilton Hotel.

Junior Quotes in What You Pawn I Will Redeem

The What You Pawn I Will Redeem quotes below are all either spoken by Junior or refer to Junior. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Native American Culture and Identity Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Grove Press edition of What You Pawn I Will Redeem published in 2004.
Noon Quotes

If you put Junior and me next to each other, he’s the Before Columbus Arrived Indian, and I’m the After Columbus Arrived Indian. I am living proof of the horrible damage that colonialism has done to us Skins. But I’m not going to let you know how scared I sometimes get of history and its ways. I’m a strong man, and I know that silence is the best way of dealing with white folks.

Related Characters: Jackson Jackson (speaker), Junior
Related Symbols: The Powwow Regalia
Page Number: 171
Explanation and Analysis:
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Junior Character Timeline in What You Pawn I Will Redeem

The timeline below shows where the character Junior appears in What You Pawn I Will Redeem. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Noon
Native American Culture and Identity Theme Icon
Jackson’s “regular crew” are Rose of Sharon and Junior, who are also homeless Indians. Even if nobody else cares about them, they care for... (full context)
Native American Culture and Identity Theme Icon
Money, Capitalism, and Morality Theme Icon
Today, Jackson, Rose of Sharon, and Junior are panhandling at Pike Place Market. After a couple hours, they take their earnings—five dollars—to... (full context)
Native American Culture and Identity Theme Icon
Money, Capitalism, and Morality Theme Icon
Racism and Colonialism Theme Icon
When Junior starts to tell the pawnbroker that the regalia has been missing for 50 years, Jackson... (full context)
Money, Capitalism, and Morality Theme Icon
Racism and Colonialism Theme Icon
...and the pawnbroker gives him $20 to get him started. Jackson, Rose of Sharon, and Junior walk out of the store in search of the remaining money they need to get... (full context)
Native American Culture and Identity Theme Icon
Death and Grief  Theme Icon
...inside and says hello to the pawnbroker. The pawnbroker asks after Rose of Sharon and Junior, and Jackson tells him that they are travelling, but that “it’s O.K.” because “Indians are... (full context)
1:00 P.M.
Money, Capitalism, and Morality Theme Icon
...$20 from the pawnbroker, and the $5 from their panhandling, Jackson, Rose of Sharon, and Junior head over to the 7-Eleven and buy three “bottles of imagination.” They drink all of... (full context)
2:00 P.M.
Death and Grief  Theme Icon
...that she hitchhiked back home to live with her sister on the reservation in Toppenish. Junior is passed out next to Jackson and covered in vomit. Jackson has a headache from... (full context)
3:00 P.M.
Native American Culture and Identity Theme Icon
Death and Grief  Theme Icon
Jackson walks back to Junior, who is still passed out. Jackson checks to see that Junior is still breathing. After... (full context)
Native American Culture and Identity Theme Icon
Death and Grief  Theme Icon
...nonetheless inspires him to refocus on the task of finding the money. So, he leaves Junior behind again to walk over to the Real Change office. (full context)
6:00 P.M.
Native American Culture and Identity Theme Icon
Death and Grief  Theme Icon
Jackson walks back to Junior with only a dollar remaining. Junior is still passed out, so Jackson checks again to... (full context)
Death and Grief  Theme Icon
Jackson is still sitting next to Junior and laughing to himself at the memory of this story. Once again, he checks to... (full context)
8:00 P.M.
Native American Culture and Identity Theme Icon
Money, Capitalism, and Morality Theme Icon
Death and Grief  Theme Icon
Jackson walks back to Junior, excited to share his good news. However, just like Rose of Sharon, Junior has disappeared.... (full context)