In Louise Erdrich’s “Tracks”, the readers discovers by the second chapter that there are two narrators, Nanapush and Pauline Puyat. This method of having two narrators telling their stories alternately could be at first confusing, especially if the readers hasn’t been briefed about it or hasn’t read a synopsis of it. Traditionally, there is one narrator in the story, but Erdrich does an effective and spectacular job in combining Nanapush and Pauline’s stories. It is so well written that one might question as he or she reads who is the principal character in this story? Being that there are two narrators, is it Nanapush, the first narrator, him being a participant in the story, who tells his story in the “I” form? Or is it Pauline, the second narrator, who also narrates in the “I” form? Upon further reading, the motive for both narrators’ stories become more evident, and by the end of the book, it becomes clear that one character is the driving force for both of the narrators’ stories. This central character is Fleur Pillager. She in fact is the protagonist of “Tracks”. Even though she is limited in dialogues, her actions speak more than words itself.
Structurally speaking, Fleur is mentioned in every chapter of the book, either being referred to by the two narrators or being part of the story. In fact, after researching the novel several times, no other character including the two narrators is consistently mentioned in every chapter. In the first chapter, Nanapush tells Lulu, his granddaughter, about the fate of the Chippewa Tribe. He then spends most of the chapter discussing the beginning of Fleur, who is Lulu’s mother, and how he saved her life. In the second chapter, Pauline, the second narrator, begins her story gossiping about Fleur to an unknown listener in detail. Pauline continues to focus her story on Fleur’s life,...
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