What important events are told and retold from more than one character's point of view in Love Medicine, and how do these retellings shape the reader's understanding of the events?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The characters in Love Medicine have distinctive voices that not only differentiate them from each other but also show how each of them changes over time and location. Several families are prominently featured in this novel—and several others—by Louise Erdrich . If the author had opted to use a single...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

The characters in Love Medicine have distinctive voices that not only differentiate them from each other but also show how each of them changes over time and location. Several families are prominently featured in this novel—and several others—by Louise Erdrich. If the author had opted to use a single third-person narrator, she would have supported more of a realist approach. However, that perspective would be inconsistent with the personalized impression that she apparently wants to convey.

The individual characters tend to have strong personalities and their interactions are sometimes highly conflictual. By offering each person's thoughts from their own point of view, the author helps the reader understand the motivations for their actions. As those specific steps often play crucial roles in influencing future, long-term consequences, it is important for the reader to see what lies behind those developments. The passion, loyalties, and betrayals that humans feel are often expressed best in their own words.

In the character of Marie, for example, the reader meets an elderly grandmother looking back on her life. But her younger self in the convent had a profound belief in the reality of demons and the power of religious belief to overcome them. The reader gains insight into the ways this conviction later shaped her and her family's lives.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team