Native Americans In The Round House By Louise Erdrich

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Native Americans have always been persecuted when the Europeans came to the continent of North America. They have been always pressured to assimilate to the white culture. Many resisted, while others chose to give their way of life up. For the people caught in the middle, one can see that Joe from Louise Erdrich’s novel, The Round House, is frequently caught between the ways life. This struggle to maintain balance can be seen through his religious life, and through Joe’s moral compass. In the village Joe lives in, there is a Catholic church that many people attend. The preacher, Father Travis isn’t Native American. Joe makes an effort to go to church with his friends once and awhile. He was never forced to go, as he says his family were not…show more content…
One of the major differences between the two is the act of aggression versus patience. Natives are traditionally more patient, while the non-native trait is aggression. Joe shows both of these traits during the novel. When Joe’s mother is attacked by a white man, Joe finally makes the decision to kill the attacker for justice. He is impatient when his parents don’t allow him to pursue the attacker, and eventually acts out in violence when Joe and his father see him in public. After his dad attacks first, Joe then says that “Lark flailed, unable to get a similar grip on my father. I was on him too, now, with the cans of Rotel tomatoes.” (Erdrich 244) After the attack, Joe then says that “A pure black joy in seeing his blood filled me.” (Erdrich 244) These values are very non-native, when lashing out in violence like that. After this attack, Joe then kills the attacker with the help of his friend Cappy. This could fall under the category of taking, rather than giving, which was a non-native value. Joe took the life of a man, rightfully doing so for justice for his mother. Joe also shows great patience throughout the novel with his mother. After she is attacked, she becomes almost mute and acts very weak and different. Joe was always patient and kind with her, because he knew how traumatized she was from the attack. The balance of patience and aggression are shown how Joe has
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