Undergraduate Research Paper
Author Louise Erdrich, a member of the Chippewa tribe in North Dakota, is renowned for addressing historical and current social justice issues facing Native Americans in many of her critically acclaimed novels. The Round House is no exception. Erdrich begins her novel by describing a violent attack against the young protagonist's mother; an attack that is only made possible by the systemic racism and lack of tribal sovereignty that underpins Federal Indian Law and policy. Erdrich transmutes the evil couched within those laws into one deplorable incident. The unfolding affects from that incident expose how-- not only historically, but even today-- lack of sovereignty results in communal trauma for Native Americans. In a series of deft metaphors, Erdrich repeatedly invokes the theme of haunting, rot, and infection to call out the body of laws that contemporary Federal Indian Policy.
University of Washington Tacoma
TLIT432 American Indian Literature
"The Body Subject to the Laws: Louise Erdrich’s Metaphorical Incarnation of Federal Indian Law in "The Round House","
Access*: Interdisciplinary Journal of Student Research and Scholarship: Vol. 1
, Article 3.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.tacoma.uw.edu/access/vol1/iss1/3