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What is a significant conflict in the "The Beads" chapter of Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich?

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A significant conflict from the Love Medicine chapter “The Beads” involves Marie Kashpaw and June Morrissey.

The conflict between Marie and June starts in the first sentence of the section. “I didn’t want June Morrissey when they first brought her to my house,” declares Marie. She already has enough on her plate to deal with—a philandering husband, an antagonistic mother-in-law, and her biological kids. The conflict between the two characters escalates when Gordie and Aurelia try to hang June and Marie interferes. “You damn old bitch,” snaps June. Her language pushes Marie to grab her and wash her mouth out with soap. In a sense, this conflict centers on how much alike the two characters are. “Brave as me, that was June,” admits Marie.

Another conflict involves Rushes Bear—the mother of Marie’s husband, Nector. Rushes Bear is critical of Marie and the life she’s made for herself and her family. “She hated all she saw and all we did,” says Marie. Rushes Bear escalates the conflict by throwing pots and hitting the walls when she visits. However, the conflict between the two characters deescalates when Rushes Bear rejects Nector’s money.

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What is an example of one conflict in the chapter "The Beads" within Louise Erdrich's Love Medicine?

The primary conflict in “The Beads” is internal, or a person versus herself. Marie Kashpaw is deeply conflicted about her attitudes toward children as she is pregnant when her niece, June Morrissey, arrives. This conflict is also manifested as a person versus person conflict between Marie and June. Another interpersonal conflict arises between Marie and her mother-in-law, Rushes Bear, as Marie’s delivery date approaches.

Marie is the narrator of the chapter. Her internal conflict is demonstrated through her reflection, “I didn’t want June Morrissey ...” Marie initially feels pity for her young niece because she was apparently abandoned and was near starvation in the woods. However, she also resents the responsibility of caring for yet another child. Despite wanting to show familial affection, her conflict with June escalates when she believes that June is encouraging her children to misbehave dangerously.

The conflict between Marie and Rushes Bear is shown by Marie’s description of the older woman as “a hot fire that I wanted to crush.” However, this view changes when Rushes Bear helps her through labor.

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