Formal Element of Style essay

Sherman Alixie’s ‘What you Pawn I will Redeem’ is an interesting story of his life. Alixie abundantly use language elements such as style, tone and Irony which the story more interesting. His language style reveals not only his native Indian origin but also inner feelings about the fate of the many Native American Indians, which he describes as was mostly “homeless, liar, and alcoholic. He said, “I am homeless,” “homeless Indians are everywhere,” and Indians are great “storytellers and liars and Mythmakers.

” This statement reveals his inward feelings as he reveals the predicament of the Native American Indians who were original people of America. Alixie even cited that Indians are common and boring people, and they looked like they have anger or sadness or may be disgust, which he blames this feeling to the “terrible fate of the noble savage. ” Alixie used language style that dramatizes the condition of the terrible condition of the Native Americans and how the whites treated them.

The one’s brave and mighty owners of land are now become homeless street people who are regarded as liar, mythmaker, alcoholic, and were victims of the white’s injustice. The Tone of his Language The tone of Alixie’s language is that he sympathized with the Native Indians in the terrible fate they are experiencing. His tone reflects that he wanted to not only reveal that this homeless, liar, alcoholic, and mythmaker people were indeed victims of injustice and oppression, but their attitudes must be understood in the context of what has been done to them.

The author’s use of the object (the powwow regalia) that was stolen from his family fifty years ago and his frustrations to get it back from somebody who now posses it, reflect the growing struggle and the true feelings of the Native Americans about their land stolen from them. The author’s tone of portraying Indians as alcoholic, homeless, and mythmaker is obviously to emphasize their frustrations, and to send a strong message that it is the impact of displacement from their own land that this people becomes what was perceived of them by the white people.

In other words, the comfort, and convenience enjoyed by every American today is at the expense of these homeless, alcoholic, liar, and mythmaker people. Indeed, the tone of the author is clear and he effectively sends a strong message to his readers. The Irony of the language The word Irony in language according to Oxford English Dictionary comes from Greek eironeia which means, “dissembling,” ignorance purposely affected” and it has something to do with pretense.

In his story, the author’s portrayal of himself as dishonest about his true intentions which he reflected twice in two different occasions; one when he was given initial money to help him raise one thousand dollars to redeem the powwow regalia from the pawn broker. His attitude towards money seemed to reflect that he want only to fool people to make money only to spend it wildly. However, in the final analysis, this ironic attitude reveals his frustration about his hopelessness to get back his family’s precious thing.

That the help offered him and all that he can do amount to small to what he really needs. Therefore, in his frustration, he thought he better spend the money and enjoy with his fellow Native Indians. His pretenses to work hard in order to fool people are a clear message of his dissatisfaction and of his protest against the little effort towards upholding the welfare of the Native Indians.

Work Cited Alexie, “Sherman. What You Pawn I will Redeem. ” The New Yorker April 21, 2003 http://www. newyorker. com/archive/2003/04/21/030421fi_fiction? currentPage=2