Shawn YangNancy HansonENGL 120512/05/2017Love Medicine’s Native American Culture past, the present, and the future have a time of its own. The book of “Love Medicine” by Louise Erdrich shares the path of two generations of families as everyone goes through their lives.  It makes the reader’s mind to think of the Natives perspective in terms of culture and characteristics. Though, there is a very separated difference from the second generation and first generation of how they went through due to their assimilation into the American culture. For this novel, certain characters represent a Native American living in an American culture along with their Native American culture. Meanwhile, the second generation shocked to be isolated from their traditional way    During the past of colonization in America, there has been the issue of interacting with the Native Americans and their lands. With the results of attempts in removing, battling, and converting the indigenous people, the American government altered its rule and law to assimilation. During this time of assimilation, the American society and the impact of the convergence has caused Native Americans to lose some of their cultures. their lands and future generations to lose their way of remembering their traditions. In Love Medicine, the results to move the Native Americans into reservations and making them “normal” Americans had occurred for several years. The Lamartine, Kashpaws, Morrissey, Lazarus, and others must identify their relations to other customs, financial realities, religions, family, and communication. A character name Gerry holds certain personalities of the Native American Chippewa tribe, a reflection of a figure, and a representative of the Native Americans living on several reservations in North Dakota. Couple of ways that Gerry is a representative of the Native American culture are from his personal characteristics, trickster trait, and that he doesn’t know what to do to plan his future life. His characteristics are what represents the Native Cultures. Throughout the story, Gerry has a partial feminine trait. Though he is a male character and possesses the feminine traits, Gerry shows an equal personality that represents all of the Native American characters in this story. “It was the hands I watched as Gerry Filled the shack. His plump fingers looked so graceful and artistic against his smooth mass. He used them prettily” (Erdrich, 201). Here, Edrich explains Gerry in this scenario to show that he is not just an ordinary man. Thus, Gerry has a feminine side which acts on behalf of the female perspective of society as well. A scene where Gerry was fleeing from the officers, his situations were described in a feminine act: “Behind him, there was a wide, tall window. Gerry opened it and sent the screen into thin air with an elegant chorus-girl kick” (Erdrich, 205). Because Gerry is one of the men in the reservation areas, he is an excellent icon of the Native American culture.The social status and culture of Native American in the United States is portrayed nicely by the story. In the start, the Native Americans in the novel are from the Chippewa tribe which explained in a reservation. It is known in history that Native American went through the thrill of tears and that the Native’s relocation to the new area or reservation nowadays still occurs like what is explained in the book. Yet, the system and law implemented by the government in each Native tribe are affected by the determination that lastly creates a unity within the tribes. It is explained in the story that Nector is picked as a tribal leader. He has a role and authorization in his tribe. This is to create a better cultural and social condition of American Indians up until this point. Yet, the Native Americans in America are still identified as a low social class or even being discriminated by largely populated races in the United States. Native Americans, however, find it really unequal. It was shown in a movie when Nector joined Hollywood, and he ended up playing as a Native American who ends up dead. This comparison shows that Native Americans is still being ignored in the modern society of America. Though, the ways of converting Native Americans conflicted the Native American’s life. Yet, Americans tried to convince Native Americans by providing western education. The children have to learn a new tradition that isn’t originally theirs and isolate themselves from their family. In the book, Nector went to school, he has very variety of skills and characteristics with his brother Eli, who was born on the reservation and upholds all of the Native traditions. “On Friday mornings, I go down to the sloughs with my brother Eli and I wait for the birds to land. We have built ourselves a little blind. Eli has second sense and an aim I cannot match, but he is shy and doesn’t like to talk. In this way, it Is good partnership. Because I got sent to school” (Louise Erdrich, ) Thus, as a result, the Native Americans culture and social life are changed with the American modern way of life, or in another meaning that Native American culture is a close to extinction.    Tricksters is a personality trait, but are found in small parts of the Native American culture, and because Gerry has a trickster nature, he is showing the parts of a Native American culture as a representative. For example, during the time when Gerry, King, and Lipshaw were involving in poker and betting for June’s car, Gerry accepted Lipshaw to change the cards and hand them out, knowing that Lipshaw would change the cards in a certain way to make King think about how he cannot keep June’s car, because it belongs to June. “Gerry shoved the deck across the table to me and nodded that it was my deal. His face was cool and serene. So, I shuffled carefully. I saw the patterns of it happen in my mind. I dealt the patterns out with perfect ease” (Erdrich, 324). In the end, Gerry got a score and Lipshaw had gotten himself a royal flush. This allowed Lipshaw to win so that king would have to give the car. Thus, this an example of Gerry’s trickster trait, and an essential perspective on the Native American culture. No planning for the future is a challenging path for Gerry. And Gerry is an example of that. Some Native Americans had lived their lives like this because opportunities that are given to them is something brand new and different. To them, it creates a new challenge for them which they had to adapt in that very moment to succeed. From their beliefs, they didn’t control their lives, instead relied on luck and chances. Gerry is an example of this in the Native American culture because he had an aura which acts like a rebel that avoided lectures, or maturity. He wanted to live his life to the fullest only on during present moments. The concept of chances and luck altering the lives which were when Lipshaw, King, and Gerry were playing poker and used cereal as poker chips. Gerry stated an essential message in the chapter which concludes the idea that their lives relied on luck. “Society? Society is like this card game here cousin. We got dealt our hand we were born, and as we grow we have to play as best as we can” (Louise Erdrich, 323) Even though Gerry gave this message, King somewhat disagrees that “it ain’t fair” (Erdrich, 324) after Gerry quoted. This illustrates that life isn’t about being equal. In the Native American culture, it would consider being lucky when the person just has to keep on doing what they can for the best. Thus, the message Gerry said describes the culture and which is why Gerry is considered an iconic figure in the Native American culture.The characters in this book face several challenges and struggle both externally and internally. Their challenges are often as painful as other ethnics people who face similar problems when first-generation parents had to work hard for their second-generation children to do better in their stead. By looking back at the past along with the Native American history, it had been a long road for them to regroup as a community and reuniting during a time of colonization and assimilation. Storytelling is an important activity that involves the Native American culture. It’s is a way to pass down the historical events. Not only do different perspectives from the Native American people are taught to the second or younger generations, but also to different ethnic groups. With Gerry being an iconic figure and representative of the Native American from his characteristics, trickster traits, and not knowing what do in his future life. In these circumstances, Gerry is an example which somewhat portrays the themes of Native Americans. It is in this person that we can likely understand the qualities that makes up the Native American people, from the novels that are transmitted down that makes up the Native American’s history.?Works CitedAndrea P. Balogh. Americana: “The Im/possibility of Native American Identity in Louise Erdrich’s. “Love Medicine” 2008Andrews, Terry L. and McCarthy, Joanne. “Louise Erdrich.” Critical Survey of Long Fiction, Fourth Edition. Ed. Carl Rollyson. Hackensack: Salem, 2010. n. pag. Salem Online. Web. 11 Dec. 2017. .Pittman, Barbara L. “Cross-Cultural Reading and Generic Transformations: The Chronotope of the Road in Erdrich’s Love Medicine.” American Literature, vol. 67, no. 4, 1995, pp. 777–792. JSTOR, JSTOR,, Jim. “Literature on the Reservation. Source for the Future of Native American Literature.” MELUS, vol. 8, no. 2, 1981, pp. 86–88. JSTOR, JSTOR,”Native American.” Britannica Academic, Encyclopædia Britannica, 20 Oct. 2017. Accessed 11 Dec. 2017.


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