The Environment In Louise Erdrich's The Beet Queen

578 Words3 Pages
The excerpt from Louise Erdrich’s novel, The Beet Queen, tells the story of two siblings arriving in an unfamiliar town. The excerpt depicts the different reactions of the siblings to their situation. The imagery of the excerpt conveys the state of the unfamiliar environment. The selection of detail in the excerpt reveals the impact that the environment has on the children. In the excerpt from Louise Erdrich’s novel, The Beet Queen, Erdrich uses imagery and selection of detail to depict the impact of the environment on the two children. The imagery of the excerpt focuses on the town the children arrive in and the weather they endure. Although only mentioned in the first half of the excerpt, the weather has a considerable effect on the children…show more content…
These reactions and the impact of the environment on the children are revealed through selection of detail. First, Erdrich characterizes the children through details given in the second paragraph. Mary Adare is described as “short and ordinary” and “square and practical”. Karl Adare is described as having a “sweetly curved” mouth and “fine and girlish” skin. This information coincides with the children’s reactions to the tree. In paragraph four, when the children encounter the tree, Mary “trudged solidly forward, hardly glancing at it”. Her reaction to the tree proves that she does not need or seek the comfort the tree may provide. Alternately, the details of Karl’s reaction, how “his cheeks went pink, he stretched out his arms like a sleepwalker” and “floated to the tree”, prove that he needs the comfort the tree provided. The environment’s impact on the children causes them to react in this way. Erdrich effectively uses selection of detail to reveal these reactions. The excerpt from Louise Erdrich’s novel, The Beet Queen, explores the effect of an unwelcoming environment on two children. Imagery contributes to the formation of the environment’s qualities through descriptions of weather and the town. Selection of detail develops the children’s reactions to the impact of the environment by including important details about the children and their actions. Through her

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