Love Medicine

Love is a Choice: A Theme Essay on Louise Edrich’s Love Medicine College

In Louise Erdich’s Love Medicine, we are introduced to the protagonist, Lipsha, who has great love and respect for his grandparents who raised him. Interwoven throughout the story, we witness the complicated history and dynamic of his grandparents’ marriage. It is through this relationship that the main theme of the story emerges. Louise Erdich’s Love Medicine shows us that love is ultimately a commitment that requires hard work and persistent effort that cannot be demanded, forced, or bestowed upon someone.

As the story opens, we learn that Lipsha’s grandpa suffers from a dementia-type illness, which has caused him to revert to some of his old ways, such as his affair with an old lover named Lulu. Interestingly, rather than justifying the affair with the fact that his grandpa is ill, Lipsha describes it as if he is falling back into an existing weakness: “You know, some people fall right through the hole in their lives. It’s invisible, but they come to it after time, never knowing where. There is this woman here, Lulu Lamartine, who always had a thing for Grandpa. She loved him since she was a girl and always says he was a genius” (281). Rather than excuse his grandfather’s behavior to him not being in his right mind, Lipsha...

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