Analysis Of Louise Erdrich 's ' Love Medicine ' Essay

1404 WordsDec 16, 20166 Pages
In Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich, the characters all face societal expectations that shape their identities and actions, including ideas about their lives as Native Americans and as women. One character who encounters these expectations is Lulu Lamartine, who experiences shaming because of her traditionalist view of Chippewa life, relationships with multiple men, and children with different fathers. However, she is fueled by love and her heritage as a Chippewa, which guide her to contradict the assumptions about her life, often directly and in the face of gossip. In the course of the novel, Lulu defies expectations in her reactions to the government’s purchase of their land, her defiance of the community’s shaming of her many romantic relationships, and the leadership of her children. As a result of Lulu’s acceptance of her identity as a Native American that others do not have themselves and do not expect from her, Lulu is more inspired to fight against the government’s payment for their land. While other characters struggle to accept their heritage, Lulu is proud of her identity as a Chippewa. For example, her first love is with Moses Pillager. Moses Pillager is entrenched within traditional Native American stories and traditions, causing her family to disapprove of him, especially as a “…windigo! His grandfather ate his own wife!” (75). When Lulu is with him on the island, she hears him “…speaking in the old language, using words that few remember, forgotten, lost to
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