Coming Of Age In Louise Erdrich's The Round House

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The coming of age of a person could be at the age of twelve, or twenty, or forty – it all depends on each person’s ability to reach a certain level of maturity – not necessarily meaning when one is independent, but rather when one seems sensible and reliable. In terms of maturity, humans have different levels of development some mature faster, while others develop quite gradually. Most of the time, the experiences that one goes through determines the speed of the rate of the maturity of that person because past experiences affect the way that we make decisions that benefit ourselves, and the people around us. Louise Erdrich’s The Round House is a coming-of-age story about Joe Coutts, a thirteen-year-old Native American, who is thrust into adulthood…show more content…
He is still satisfied of Linden’s death when he realizes that his mother “[does not] have to look behind her, or fear [Linden] would sneak up on her[; s]he could pick her bush beans all day and nobody [is] going to bother her” (Erdrich 294). He earns the respect of his father and the reservation when they imply that are aware of the actions he takes to protect his family when they know of his crime, yet do not persecute him for it. On the other hand, Nanapush earns the respect of his tribe, as a twelve-year-old, when he provides them with the carcass of the old Buffalo woman that he slaughtered. Furthermore, the respect he earns leads to the building of the Round House. Erdrich writes, in Mooshum’s perspective, “That is how it came about, said Mooshum. I was a young man when the people built it – they followed Nanapush’s instructions,” (Erdrich 215) implying that his tribe’s respect for him grew because of his actions and his maturity – which he gained through his journey of killing the old Buffalo woman. Though their actions lead to different paths, the characters still show that they are doppelgangers because they gain the admiration from the people around them. In addition, they follow a set of premises in Andrew J. Webber’s “The Doppelgänger: Double Visions in German Literature.” In his first premise, Webber states, that the main subject “beholds its other self as another, as a visual object (3). Joe views Nanapush as a character from Mooshum’s sleep story – disregarding the fact that their stories may be similar. Moreover, Webber provides a seventh premise in which he presumes that there is a “return and repetition” of the doppelganger, in which it “returns compulsively both within its host texts and intertextually from one another” (4). In the novel, Mooshum’s story keeps making its way into the
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