I have chosen the novel Chickadee by Louise Erdrich for the exploration assignment to address what the historical novel is able to accomplish that a conventional text of the same subject could not. Chickadee is the continuation of a story and fourth book in a series by Erdrich that began with the novel The Birchbark House that introduced a seven-year-old Ojibwe girl named Omakayas. Chickadee takes place in mid-1800 Minnesota and picks up the story with Omakayas eight-year-old twin boys, the quiet Chickadee and the mischievous Makoons. These twins are always together and every member of their family loves both dearly. Erdrich describes the locale in northern Minnesota impeccably as she creatively knits her knowledge …show more content…
They kidnap Chickadee, which shifts the boy’s family into taking on a rescue journey. During the time with his kidnappers and after he escapes, the boy goes through some unpleasant as well as unfamiliar cultural experiences, but also some fun and educational ones. During Chickadee’s absence, his brother, grieving over his participation and loss of his twin, becomes very ill and his mother Omayakas and father Animikiins are desperate to find one son and restore to health the other. There are many Ojibwe songs sung throughout the book, one of which is a healing song that Chickadee sings to Makoons when is reunited with the family. The book draws in the reader with suspense and humor as the family encounters missionaries and fur trappers, new settlements, and great spirits of the ancients along their journey.
At one point in the story, Chickadee reunites with an Uncle and they travel to the large city of St. Paul. Chickadee sees the famous mansions of the wealthy but views them quite differently than most. Instead of seeing the beauty in the elaborate material wealth, he thought about the forests of trees that had been devoured to build all the houses. The marvels of nature that his family cherished and required for survival in their lives, chickadee saw as being destroyed for the sake of the city, which he referred to as feeding a mouth one could never