The novel focuses on the life of Fleur Pillager and those with whom she comes into contact, dramatizing their struggle for survival as well as their many-faceted conflicts.
The ways in which Erdrich brought this region to literary life have been favorably compared by critics to An analysis of louise erdrich elis tracks methods and style of William Faulkner, who created the mythical Yoknapatawpha County out of his rich sense of rural Mississippi.
Like Faulkner, Erdrich created a gallery of diverse characters spanning several generations, using multiple points of view and shifting time frames. As her tales develop, however, these people become involved in events and perceptions that strike the reader as quite extraordinary—as exaggerated or heightened in ways that may seem deluded or mystical, grotesque or magical, comic or tragic, or some strange mixture of these.
Though June Kashpaw was once a woman of striking beauty and feisty spirit, by she has sunk to the level of picking up men in an oil boomtown. However, June fails in her last attempts to attain two goals that other characters will also seek throughout the novel: However, though she appears only briefly in this and one other story, June Kashpaw is a central character in the novel, for she embodies the potential power of spirit and love in ways that impress and haunt the other characters.
On one hand, several characters seem sympathetic because of their closeness to June and their kind treatment of one another. Albertine Johnson, who narrates the story and remembers her Aunt June lovingly, has gone through a wild phase of her own and is now a nursing student.
Love Medicine then shifts back in time fromand its thirteen remaining stories proceed in chronological order from to The offspring of these Kashpaws and Lamartines also have their problems in later Love Medicine stories. Though in these earlier Love Medicine stories the positive powers of love and spirit are more often frustrated than fulfilled, in the last three stories several characters achieve breakthroughs that bring members of the different families together in moving and hopeful ways.
The Beet Queen InThe Beet Queen, her second novel, Erdrich shifts her main focus from the American Indian to the European-immigrant side of her background, and she creates in impressive detail the mythical town of Argus modeled on Wahpeton, where she was reared, but located closer to the Ojibwa reservation in the years On a cold spring day intwo orphans, Mary and Karl Adare, arrive by freight train in Argus.
When they are attacked by a dog, Mary runs ahead, continuing her search for the butcher shop, while Karl runs back to hop the train once again. On the other hand, Karl is the principal dreamer—impressionable, prone to escapist impulses, and dependent on others to catch him when he falls.
The Adare family history shows how Karl is following a pattern set by his mother, Adelaide, while Mary grows in reaction against this pattern.
Like Karl, Adelaide is physically beautiful but self-indulgent and impulsive. Driven to desperation by her hard luck in the early years of the Great Depression, Adelaide startles a fairground crowd by abandoning her three children Mary, Karl, and an unnamed newborn son to fly away with the Great Omar, an airplane stunt pilot.
A number of episodes gratify the reader with triumphs for Mary and comeuppances for theIn Argus, Mary tangles with yet another beautiful, self-centered dreamer: A number of episodes gratify the reader with triumphs for Mary and comeuppances for the less sympathetic characters Karl, Adelaide, and Sita.
Mary becomes famous for a miracle at her school she falls and cracks the ice in the image of Jesusgains Celestine as a close friend, and in time becomes manager of the Kozka butcher shop.
By contrast, Karl becomes a drifter who finds only sordid momentary pleasure in his numerous affairs. Meanwhile, Adelaide marries Omar and settles in Florida, but she becomes moody and subject to violent rages. Similarly, Sita fails in her vainglorious attempts to become a model and to establish a fashionable French restaurant; she escapes her first marriage through divorce and becomes insane and suicidal during her second.
However, even as Erdrich charts the strange and sometimes grotesque downfalls of her flighty characters, she develops her more sympathetic ones in ways that suggest that the opposite approach to life does not guarantee happiness either. Mary is unsuccessful in her attempt to attract Russell Kashpaw the half-brother of Celestineand she develops into an exotically dressed eccentric who is obsessed with predicting the future and controlling others.
Like Mary, Celestine James and Wallace Pfef are hardworking and successful in business, but their loneliness drives each of them to an ill-advised affair with Karl, and he causes each of them considerable grief.
However, in addition to the defeats and disappointments that all the characters bear, Erdrich dramatizes the joy that they derive from life. The compensations of family and friendship—ephemeral and vulnerable as these may be—prove to be significant for all the characters at various times in the story, particularly at the end.
The irrepressible vitality of these people, troublesome as they often are to one another, keeps the reader involved and entertained throughout the novel.
It is the shortest, covers a time span of only twelve years, and alternates between only two first-person narrators.Tracks Summary & Study Guide Description. Pauline learns she is pregnant by Napoleon, and Bernadette stops her from getting rid of the baby. Bernadette has to force the child out of Pauline and agrees to keep the baby who is named Marie.
Pauline goes to the convent and punishes herself in the name of religion. Summary. Tracks is arguably Erdrich’s most concentrated, intense, and mystical novel before the appearance of The Antelope Wife (). Her shortest novel, it covers the briefest period of time, twelve years.
It alternates between only two first-person narrators compared with .
Tracks Chapter 1 Summary & Analysis. The spirits remain with the two of them, though, and, in their seclusion Fleur and Nanapush grow severely depressed, which they explain as going “half-windigo” or half-spirit, detaching from their physical needs and retreating deep into their grief.
Study Guide for Tracks. Tracks study guide contains a biography of Louise Erdrich, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Tracks. She is considered bad luck by reservation residents when after two close drowning the men who help her die.
She goes to live in her family's cabin on Mitchimanitou Lake. The people believe she keeps a sea monster in the lake under control. She visits the butcher shop in town. Analysis of Louise Erdrich’s Novels By Nasrullah Mambrol on June 1, • (0) In a essay titled “ Where I Ought to Be: A Writer’s Sense of Place,” Louise Erdrich (7 June ) states that the essence of her writing emerges from her attachment to her North Dakota locale.