Louise Erdrich's Love Medicine

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In Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich, the narrative ends with Lipsha’s perspective as he is told the identity of his parents, June Morrissey and Gerry Nanapush, and reacts to these new revelations. This ending is important in light of the entire novel because it emphasizes the importance of families and claiming their ancestry. This is specifically seen in Lipsha’s confusion and desire to trace his ancestry after being told about his parents and his act of driving June’s car back onto the reservation, in effect, “bring[ing] her home” (367). Lipsha’s desire to discover his family’s ancestry is important in light of the community’s focus on familial relationships, as seen throughout the novel. After Lipsha is told who his parents are, he decides…show more content…
As he drives in the car back towards the reservation, he decides that he will “bring her [June] home” (367). In the beginning of the novel, June dies on her way back home to the reservation (6). Lipsha bringing her home is symbolic of her journey finally being completed. This is also a symbol of her returning to her heritage. Throughout the novel, many of the characters have struggled with the stereotypes for Native people and left home in order to understand them. Ultimately, they have accepted their heritage and returned. For example, Lulu’s time at the convent revolved around her desire to pray like white people and abandon her Native heritage: “I was going up there to pray as good as they could. Because I don’t have that much Indian blood” (43). At the end, she decided to leave the convent, returning back home to the reservation. These characters’ time away from the reservation is completed with a full circle journey back to their true heritage. June was never able to complete her return back to her home, but Lipsha does this for her. Therefore, this is a sign of not only Lipsha’s acceptance of his heritage, but also symbolic of June’s return to her ancestry, a central theme throughout Love
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