The Round House By Louise Erdrich

1293 Words Nov 14th, 2014 6 Pages
Survivance is a term that is used in Native American studies and it includes two important terms: “survival” and “resistance”. Survivance refers to an active sense of presence and in native stories, natural reason, active traditions, customs, narrative resistance, and clearly observable in personal attributes, such as humor, spirit, cast of mind, and moral courage (Vizenor). It allows them to transform their experiences of historical trauma into courage, forgiveness, and healing through political activism and cultural revitalization (sfsu).Vizenor defines this term in opposition to “victimry” and it is more than just survival for the Native Americans, but as self-reliant perseverance through all the hardships that had presented themselves such as the forced assimilation into the “white” community and culture. Instead of losing their roots, the Native Americans were able to hold on to their historical culture and traditions and were so much more than mere survival.
The Round House, written by Louise Erdrich is a fictional novel that focuses on a Chippewa family in a North Dakota Indian reservation. The story is written from the perspective of a young man, Joe Coutts, who is the son of a tribal judge, Bazil Coutts, and his mother, Geraldine, who was brutally raped by a white man, Lindin Lark, in a savage act of vengeance. After this violent act, Joe’s mother spirals into solidarity and becomes closed off to the point where she is unable to leave her room. This causes their…
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