Injustice In Louise Erdrich's The Round House

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In schools across the world, children learn that, despite rampant injustice committed by a few, there is still good in the honorable majority of mankind and the promise of righteousness under the law. These children mature idolizing both superheroes in society and those existing on the big screen, teaching that right will trump wrong and that good will prevail over evil. Unfortunately, however, this is not an all-encompassing theme outside of the fictional realm. In Louise Erdrich’s The Round House, Geraldine Coutts, a rape victim on a Native American reservation, finds only injustice in the very judicial system that sought to protect her. As a result, her family is put on a path of vigilante justice while Geraldine attempts to recover, and just as she is unable to find closure through the traditional path of legal prosecution she does not recover from her rape through paternalistic sources of authority and power either.…show more content…
It was by no means from a lack of effort, though. Initially her husband, Bazil, was “convinced that somewhere within his bench briefs, memos, summaries, and decisions lay the identity of the man whose act had nearly severed [Geraldine]’s spirit from her body” (Erdrich 45). And although his cases do lead him to suspect the man who committed the atrocity against Geraldine, the tribal justice system is unable to take any action. Before the assualt, Geraldine remembers a sack being drawn over her head and shoulders that “went down so far…[she] couldn’t see” (159), and because of this visual block, as well as her disorientation and panic during the event, she is unable to provide the location in which the rape occurred; this opens her case up to the confusing and often ineffective system of state, federal, and tribal land
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