Essay on The Round House, By Louise Erdrich

1198 Words Nov 13th, 2015 null Page
Survivance in The Round House
North Dakota is a sovereignty nightmare. A world so foreign to most Americans, riddled with poverty and the remnants of cultures attacked by the “American way”. The Round House, by Louise Erdrich, paints a picture of life at a Chippewa reservation in the late 1980’s. In this tribe, the members speak Ojibwe in addition to English, which is a part of the Algic language family. The story of The Round House reflects upon modern and past issues in regards to American Indian affairs, it shows the divide between cultures, as well as the assimilation that has taken place. The difference between older characters such as Mooshum and the young teenage boys that the story revolves around is evident. Unfortunately, the Reservation cannot be completely relied on due to conflicts in sovereignty. However, lapses in control and justice are made up for in tribal loyalty, protection, and traditions. An important concept to consider when reading and analyzing The Round House is the idea of survivance. Survivance of a culture, its traditions, its ways, language, and its spiritual holdings. The novel demonstrates the idea of survivance in many of the characters, but it is most prominent in the collective tribal being.
The plot is centered on the rape of the mother, Geraldine, and the events that follow the brutal event. For the majority of the novel, Joe does not know who the rapist is, and the novel focuses on his attempts to discover his identity. Due to the…

Related Documents