Native American Culture In Louise Erdrich's Love Medicine

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Louise Erdrich’s Love Medicine revolves around a huge family of Native Americans. The reader is able to learn the history of the family by reading stories of their interactions. The audience is transported into a reservation system where they view these interactions and key components of Native American culture, the parts that remain and the parts that have withered away. As the novel progresses the readers learn about how Native American culture interacts or doesn't interact, with white culture. The audience learns about the effects of colonization on Native American culture and how it continues to affect their daily lives, despite the fact that colonization took place hundreds of years ago. The novel starts off with a story about June…show more content…
One of the ways the readers can see this is the character's relationship with Christianity. Marie’s interaction with Sister Leopolda shows how abusive the Christian faith is towards Native Americans. In “Saint Marie” there are multiple stories of sister Leopolda physically and emotionally abusing young Marie. “‘Well, you’ve done it with the Devil in your heart then,’ she said. ‘Not God’” Sister Leopolda refers to Maries Indian heritage as the devil, darkness, and the dark one (Erdrich). This is how she convinces Marie that she needs the physical abuse of being burned with boiling water and being nearly put into an oven. Once Marie realizes that her background isn’t something to be ashamed of or something evil she leaves the convent. However, the trauma continues to haunt her throughout her life. Her hatred towards Christianity allows to keep herself in check but in “Flesh and Blood” when she goes to see Sister Leopolda on her deathbed her trauma is manifested when she tries to prove her strength at whatever cost. “I would get that spoon,” shows how desperate Marie was to reclaim that power that Sister Leopolda had taken away from her when she was a child (Erdrich). But the most disheartening part of this story is that even on her deathbed Marie was still not able to reclaim her power. This scene serves as a metaphor to represent how native Americans are never able to get their strength back from the white
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