2018, Volume 1, Issue 36, Pages 31-58
AbstractNative American people were encouraged by the U. S. government to leave the reservations during the 1950s and 1960s, as if the constant violation of treaty rights, compulsory attendance at boarding schools, and the near extinction of these people were not enough. Such historical, social, and cultural contexts influenced the themes and forms of works by American Indian writers who encouraged individuals to reject any sense of shame of their culture. In addition, their actions coincided with a return of the people to their traditions after the disappointment, mental illness, and loss of meaning of life resulted from the impact of the mainstream American society. Among these writers, Louise Erdrich (1954- ), a mixed-blood woman, became among the most celebrated authors. The trail blazed by N. Scott Momaday and Leslie Marmon Silko was followed by Erdrich in her writing as she shares the same interest in presenting characters who are trapped between Native traditions and white mainstream expectations.
Erdrich introduces many characters who struggle to have a voice, but they resolve their conflict by rejecting the sacrificial role assigned to mixed-blood figures, especially that of the nineteenth century. The mixed-blood figures in Love Medicine are to be seen as a source of power, something to be celebrated rather than mourned.
This paper is a part of an M.A. thesis entitled “The Cultural Crisis of Mixed-blood Figures in Indian-American Fiction: A Study of Selected Novels By N. Scott Momaday, Leslie Marmon Silko, and Louise Erdrich” prepared at the University of Al-Qadisiya, College of Education, Department of English
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