The present study aims at realizing how the works of Louise Erdrich, a contemporary female Native American writer, truly reflect the artistic and mythic vision of the ancestral Native Americans while simultaneously portraying the hybridized lives of the mixed generations of the Native Americans. Her work, therefore, serves as a site where ancestral and the present vision of the Native American life meet to provide an insight into the transformation of the native people’s history, myth, culture, and religion as a consequence of their encounters with white ways of life. The present study seeks to explicate the history of the Native American civilization, their unique vision of the unity of human and non-human creatures, the troubled past experiences of lost lands, forced evacuation from their ancestral lands, subsequent humiliated lives in reservoirs, racial and ethnic discrimination, and finally, the identity crisis arising from the dominant culture’s efforts to assimilate the young generations of the Native Americans, in an effort, to alienate them from their cultural, religious and mythic roots.
In-betweenness is a constant feeling of dislocation and identity confusion and Erdrich explores this theme of the cultural confusion and hybrid identity faced by Native American generations in her works. As she herself belonged to two different cultures, a different set of traditions and races her major characters also represent both sides of her heritage. She has gone beyond representing only the Native American characters ingrained in Native Culture and has also portrayed characters that are not pure Native Indians. These mixed or hybrid characters that inhabit her novels are the representatives of a changing, evolving Native American culture and reveal how society and individuals have undergone a transformation.
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