After reading Tracks by Louise Erdrich, it is apparent that female power, besides religion and love, is one of the most important themes in this well written novel about native american tribes that have to give up their land and adapt to the white society. The writer uses Fleur Pillager to express these female powers through her character. While Fleur had always had these powers, Pauline turns towards god to seek power from him.
Erdrich uses magic realism when she implies that Fleur has special powers that enable her to swim with the water spirit Misshepeshu, drown and still live, and call upon a storm to kill men who attack her. “Even though she was good-looking, nobody dared to court her because it was clear that Misshepeshu, the water man, the monster, wanted her for himself. He’s a devil, that one, hungry with desire and hungry for the touch of young girls, the strong and daring especially, the ones like Fleur” (11). Events that could technically be explained logically, the narrator invests with magical interpretation. Fleur is the carrier of magical power from the spiritual world.
The first introduction to the mystical character of Fleur Pillager occurs when Nanapush tells the story of how he found her in the Pillager cabin as the only surviving one of the tribe. She was 17 years old at that time and had nearly drowned 3 times. The first time when she nearly drowned in Lake Matchimanito two men went after her to save her. But it wasn't long afterward that those two men disappeared. "By saving Fleur Pillager, those two had lost themselves," said Nanapaush.(p.10) In this part of the book the reader gets the first impression that Fleur is some kind of witch with magical powers who has control over other people. Louise Erdrich gives many more examples in her novel showing how Fleur's control over everyone makes people cautious about her.
While Fleur was in Argus, she spent most of her time playing cards with the men that worked there. They played poker,...
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