August 10, 2010
Louise Erdrich, author of Love Medicine, wrote a book on the average life of a modern American Indian living on a reservation. Lipsha Morrissey, the main character and also the narrator, is a young American Indian man who was raised by his adoptive grandparents on a reservation. Although he is in his early twenties, Lipsha depicts certain characteristics of a young child. At times he can be perceived as naïve and uneducated; however, some characteristics portray a much older man such as his insightfulness, caring and poetic nature. Through his journey in Love Medicine, he discovers that rituals and religion may or may not be powerful; however, true power lies in the mind of the victim. Lipsha learns that faith in the cure is more potent than the cure itself.
In Love Medicine Lipsha is taken in by his grandparents after his mother tried to “tie me in a potato sack and throw me in a slough” (327) says Lipsha. He grows up being eternally grateful for their kindness and in return he cares for them in the adulthood. He loved them both as if they were his own parents; which is why he felt he had to do something when Grandpa and Grandma Kashpaw were in trouble. Grandpa Kashpaw had recently been diagnosed with a form of diabetic dementia which Lipsha so commonly refers to as “his second childhood”. In this very vulnerable state of mind, Grandpa Kashpaw is seduced by Lulu Lamartine with her charm, but more importantly her candy. Grandma Kashpaw, who still loves her husband very much, was devastated and Lipsha thought it was his duty to set things right again. This is when the love potion I introduced; it is implied that this love medicine will keep Grandpa Kashpaw from going astray and essentially, let their love last forever. And so Lipsha goes out on the hunt for an appropriate medicine for the elderly pair. He eventually comes across a pair of geese, which mate for life, and though he tries hard, he fails to...