Analysis Of Louise Erdrich's Homecoming Themes In The Love Medicine

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Louise Erdrich is a famous “contemporary writer of German- American and Chippewa descent,” (Tanrisal 68) who is well known for “her own short stories and novels” which earned her reputation as a “fiction writer” (Beidler and Gaynor 2). Due to Erdrich’s Native American Decent, her novel settings were mostly centered on her “fictional North Dakota Reservation, whose heart is Matchimanito Lake,” (Beidler and Gaynor 2). Through the different novels of Erdrich, she manages to link them by having similar characters (Tanrisal 70) such as including “orphan” characters (Stookey 25). In addition, women are a big part of Erdrich’s novels — more specifically, mothers of all sorts who has the “responsibility of sustaining relationships, but are not …show more content…
Homecoming can mean a lot of things, it can either portray happiness or sadness depending on the story in which the theme is portrayed. In the case of the Love Medicine, the homecoming is linked to sadness. At the very end of the novel when Grandpa Kapshaw dies, his spirit is still within Grandma Kapshaw’s home. Grandma Kapshaw describes Grandpa’s spirit as coming “back even after death to claim me [Grandma] to his side” (Erdrich 626). This can be interpreted as Grandpa coming home to Grandma because he finally is in his right of mind as he conquered his death and his love is coming home to Grandma Kapshaw. From loving Lamartine maiden when he was alive, Grandpa came home to the love of his wife, whom he loved all his life before he got sick and forgot. Although, at the end of the story, Grandpa Kapshaw’s spirit left, as Lipsha “felt him retreating, like a sigh, growing less. I [Lipsha] felt his spirit as it shrunk back,” (Erdrich 627). This can be also considered a homecoming as Grandpa Kapshaw went home to King up above, God, which causes sadness within Grandma Kapshaw and Lipsha. The evident theme of homecoming in the Love Medicine further proves that this story is typical of Louise Erdrich’s writing

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