Justice And Revenge In Louise Erdrich's The Round House

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Justice and revenge are often seen as very separate ideas. Justice being the concept that things are right and fair. Revenge spins the other way, following the eye-for-an-eye thought process. Both justice and revenge are overbearing themes in countless works however it is less often that we see these themes coexist and propel one another. In The Round House thirteen year old Joe attempts to find the man who raped and tried to murder his mother. While seeking both justice for the wrong doing and revenge for the pain caused, Joe finds aid in religion, family, and his friends. Author Louise Erdrich carefully addresses each of these topics with beautiful imagery, tales from Native American culture, and supberub character development. By the end …show more content…
The further the story goes on the less I see Joe and his comrades as the central protagonists. The women surrounding the teenage boys often steal the spotlight from them, especially the three described above. Linda’s justice and revenge might be the smallest of all. Starting from heartbreaking and humble beginnings Linda didn’t have much to work with. She becomes an odd acquaintance of Joe’s after he learns her love of baking banana bread and he uses that as a way to force himself into her life. After hearing the first part of her story Joe knows that she can be of use in the hunting and killing of her brother. Linda herself plays no part in Linden’s golf course murder, but the information she reveals leads Joe and his friend Cappy right to him. This is her quiet revenge. I feel certain that she did the mental math and knows that she helped lead the boys to the horrible man. Linda’s justice is her whole peaceful life she created for herself. It is described that she enjoys her job and lives alone with her dog, drinks tea, reads and does puzzles. She was the baby her mother didn’t want, the government was continually trying to take her away from the mother that adopted her, being described as ugly and disabled, and donating a kidney to a malicious man she owes nothing to. All of these things could have turned Linda into a bitter, mean, old woman. Instead she has found inner peace and a happy life despite the bitter beginning. Sonja is introduced as a lust object for Joe and his teenage friends. Her backstory is bleak as it is told that her daughter and mother have shoved her away. She was once an exotic dancer and bullied by men until Whitey wore her down enough to ‘run away’ with him. Though it seems that Sonja and Whitey get along decently, Joe is witness to one of Whitey’s drunken rampages where he beats

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