Author Archives: Mohammad Khan

“You” in “What You Pawn I Will Redeem”

When does the narrator create the narrate–that is, where is the “you” addressed, and who is that you that he builds?

(Late post, I apologize)

The narrator creates this relationship/ barrier with the reader by addressing the readers as “you” especially in the beginning of the story. Jackson Jackson in the beginning of the story states “I’m not going to tell you my particular reasons for being homeless, because it’s my secret story, and Indians have to work hard to keep secrets from hungry white folks,” this atomically puts this barrier between the reader and the narrator.  The reader is portrayed as a distant person and as a person who will take advantage of the secret and harm him and his tribe. He starts by building this bad picture of the reader and that we are “hungry white folks” who is looking to harm the Indians. He continues to build this ungrateful and vicious view towards the readers by stating “Maybe you don’t understand the value of a clean bathroom, but I do,” in other words we are ungrateful for things that we feel are common however is a luxury to others and that we won’t ever understand what a clean bathroom is like because he feels that we don’t come across dirty or unclean restrooms. Again he builds this barrier between the reader and himself that the reader will not understand.  In other words its like, I’m just telling you but I don’t expect you to understand how I feel about it. He further develops this barrier by stating “We’re common and boring, and you walk right on by us, with maybe a look of anger or disgust or even sadness at the terrible fate of the noble savage,” Jackson mentions “you” referring to us the reader and says how we see homeless people often and not only do we not care about them but many times we make faces towards them. Sometimes faces that show our anger towards them and sometimes our sympathy towards them.  He makes it clear that we, the reader are these vicious evil people who are not trustworthy, not grateful and are bad guys. We can maybe better understand this by the way many of us see corporate workers and how their ungrateful and corrupt is kind of how the narrator portrays us the reader as.  Jackson builds this image of “you” as a corrupt person.

Experiencing the Style of Narrations


  • What effect does the style of narration have on your experience of the plot or characters? Use two different styles to reflect on this, using any of the stories we have read this semester.

The style of narration allows us to experience a story in a certain way. From the readings we have done so far there has been a few different styles of narration and each one is unique and gives us different emotions due to their uniqueness. Two stories that I’ve read with totally different forms of narrations are, Bia Lowe’s “I Always Write about My Mother When I Start to Write,” and Aarne Thompson’s “The Wicked Stepmother.” Bia Lowe’s story was in the first person point of view which helps us get inside the head of the narrator whom is the main character. This allows us as the readers especially for me to try to imagine what character is witnessing as well as experiencing rather than an outsiders view. For example, the narrator makes mention of “She is in every way my female deity,” “I was suddenly seized with a desire to court her,” and of much more of his emotions that occurred to him but makes us the readers feel/understand his emotions, somewhat like justifying how he feels about his mothers. In other words, Bia Lowe’s “I Always Write about My Mother When I Start to Write,” made me feel like I was part of the story and connect to why he may have felt a certain way or described somethings in such strange details. However, on the other hand, Aarne Thompson’s story “The Wicked Stepmother,” which is the Indian version of Cinderella was a third person point of view. This was very different because it was more of being told about something, the whole story was more of someone else’s experience being told to me rather than me experiencing what the character was feeling. I found it harder to connect to “The Wicked Stepmother” by Thompson more than “I Always Write About My Mother When I Start to Write” by Lowe because I wasn’t “in the footsteps of the character but rather I was the observer/watcher. For example, Thompson  mentions “That very moment she was changed into a goat,” upon reading this I did not feel that shocking emotion but rather it was more of “oh okay.” I feel like it the story was in a first-person narrative it would have made me feel more connected to the story than just an observer or someone who’s just reading it. If the situation was “That very moment I changed into a goat,” that feels more vivid and makes you feel apart of the story rather than being told it. In short, the style of narration effects the reader’s experience of the story, it’s like living and experiencing it or being told by someone else experience. (“The Wicked StepMother” By Aarne-Thompson