The religious symbolism of Louise Erdrich
Taylor, Marie Teresa Balsley.
Thesis (M.A.)--Georgetown University, 2009.; Includes bibliographical references. This thesis explores the ways in which Louise Erdrich's use of Catholic symbols progress over the course of four of her novels including, Love Medicine, The Beet Queen, Tracks and The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse. Throughout her works, Erdrich repeatedly rewrites Catholic symbols, particularly the symbols of baptism and the Virgin Mary. With each repetition, Erdrich adjusts the narrative by rewriting the Catholic symbolism to fit within a syncretic understanding, slowly erasing previous tensions that existed between the Catholic belief system and the Ojibwe traditional religion. The symbols are ultimately brought to a syncretic resolution in the character of Father Damien as she appears in The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse. Erdrich also uses her repetition of Catholic symbolism to explore questions of gender and cultural identity that are embedded within the religious history of Catholicism and Ojibwe traditional religion.
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