Salesmen Squared

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Salesman Squared
Everyone in the world can easily fall into a stereotype. According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, a stereotype is, “to believe unfairly that all people... with a particular characteristic are the same" ("stereotype" par.1). Sherman Alexie writes stories that allow him to expose the stereotypes of Native American Indians. In "Flight Pattern," William is aware of the Native American Indian stereotypes and attempts to not fall into it. In "What You Pawn I Will Redeem," Jackson embodies the stereotype and embraces it; he is proud to be the typical Native American Indian. Sherman Alexie creates two characters, William and Jackson, with personal motivation to find their place in the world.

William is aware of what the Native American Indian stereotypes are, which motivates him to not smoke, drink, or eat junk food. He avoids these vices as a way of proving that he is not the typical Native American Indian. However immediately after this statement, Alexie provides an image of William braiding, "his long black hair into two tight braids" (104), one of the most prominent stereotypes expected from a Native American Indian. William measured his life by imaginary numbers: by the amount of money he had in his bank account, the interest rate on his mortgage and the stock markets ups and downs. Investing his money in socially responsible funds was a privilege of choice typical for the white man that William tried so hard to represent; this view was opposite of the always-broke Indian who did not work or have any money. William expresses pride for himself and his culture by focusing on the fact that he is a Native American Indian with "ten thousand more reasons to terrorize the U.S." and pointing out how he has actively made the decision to be an American citizen with "kindness and moral decency and awesome ability to forgive" (112). He also indicates his complete disgust with the concept of profiling, stating that people “sniff” around him when he...