Love Medicine

Between Two Worlds: Author's Craft in Love Medicine 12th Grade

Often in literature, central themes are based around two or more opposing forces. Whether it be religion, socioeconomic class, or race, conflicts allow the author to challenge the audience's beliefs and societal expectations of the past and present. This aspect of creativity is especially apparent in Louise Erdrich’s novel Love Medicine. As a biracial author, Erdrich has lived her entire life as a member of the two unique communities from which her parents came. She shares with the world some of the trials and tribulations she has and continues to endure as a mixed person in modern America throughout her novel. This story of two Native American families, the Kashpaws and the Lamartines, incorporates facets from both Western and Native American lifestyles as Erdrich blends together a community of multicultural people searching for authenticity. Throughout Love Medicine, Erdrich borrows from her own mixed identity in order to cast the modernized Western aspects against the more indigenous ones of multicultural heritages of millions of people around the world.

Erdrich pointedly critiques Western culture as she compares Native American “Love Medicine” to more modern medical practices (Erdrich 227). After undergoing a medical...

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