The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse

by Louise Erdrich

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Is Nanapush a trickster character in The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse?

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Nanapush be considered a trickster character in The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse because he embodies the unpredictable and often deceptive aspects of the universe. The trickster is contrasted with logical, rational thought and the human ability to rationally anticipate an outcome. This prominent character type in Indigenous cosmology and mythology is found throughout the Americas. When the character takes human form, it is usually associated with cleverness, humor, and secrecy—all traits that Nanapush possesses. In animal form, the trickster is often represented by the coyote.

Nanapush is shown as surviving a challenging life, in part aided by humor. Rather than grow dull or bitter, he continues to relish the comic side of things, and he takes special delight in fooling other people. He also keeps secrets, such as that of Damian’s identity, and savors disclosing his knowledge at a strategic time. His intentions are not malevolent, but he does relish calling attention to the foibles of people who act superior to others.

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