April 15, 2013
Relationships in Love Medicine
Love Medicine is a series of short stories that was written by Lousie Erdrich in 1984 and covers a time span of 60 years. Love Medicine is set in North Dakota on an Indian reservation known as Turtle Mountain. Although the novel is fiction, the cultural, social, and economical aspects depicted are very realistic. Hertha Sweet Wong describes Love Medicine as “Metafiction, ironically self-conscious in its mode of telling, concerned as much with exploiting the process of storytelling as with the story itself.” (35) Erdrich’s Love Medicine is not so much based on plot as on several key relationships. These relationships include; the love triangle between Marie, Nector, and Lulu; June and how her death made an impact on other characters and Lipsha a key figure to understanding the novel.
June is introduced at the beginning of the novel by telling the story of her death. Although June is dead through the entire novel her memory lives on as her family and friends recall memories they shared with June and even some of their own memories throughout the novel. “June will figure throughout the novel as a touchstone for the other characters” (Sweet Wong 57) June’s death affected all of the characters in the novel. June is “…the erratic and once vivacious beauty of the family…” as described by Sweet Wong. (38) June left behind her husband Gordie and her son King, along with her lover Gerry whom she also had a son with named Lipsha. Every character in the book is impacted by June’s death. June is said to be “the catalyst for the narrations that follow, stories that trace the intricate and often antagonistic relationships in the two families from which she came” (Sweet Wong 38). Junes son, King, buys a car with the money he receives from his mother’s death. The car is a shiny new sports car, which the others do not go near to because they are afraid that it is a...