Love Medicine Questions and Answers Chapter 11

Louise Erdrich

Questions and Answers Chapter 11

Study Questions
1. What caused Gordie’s slide into serious alcoholism?

2. In the house, what does Gordie do to try to defend himself from a ghost?

3. Why does Gordie flee his house?

4. Why does Gordie keep driving after hitting the deer?

5. What causes the second apparition of June?

6. Why does Sister Mary try to dissuade Gordie from confessing?

7. Gordie’s confession terrifies Sister Mary. Why?

8. Why does Sister Mary go outside?

9. What is Sister Mary unable to explain to Gordie?

10. Where is Gordie at the end of the chapter?

Answers
1. June’s death caused Gordie to spiral into severe alcoholism.

2. Gordie turns on all the electrical appliances to keep the ghost away.

3. Gordie thinks June’s ghost has crawled in through the window. When he causes an electrical failure, the dark becomes too terrifying, so he flees the house.

4. Gordie needs alcohol to quell his tremors.

5. Gordie is extremely drunk, which could be the cause of the apparition. However, there is also a stunned deer in his back seat that he kills with a tire iron, and when he turns to check to make sure that it is dead, he sees June.
This could be a real ghost or a delusion of Gordie’s drunken, lonely mind.

6. First of all, Sister Mary is scared of the drunken man outside her window and probably doesn’t wish him to stay. In addition, she is not a priest and so has not been ordained or trained to hear confession or give absolution.

7. Gordie confesses that he has killed his wife.

8. Sister Mary feels compelled to check out Gordie’s story and see if there is a body in the car.

9. Sister Mary cannot explain that the body in the backseat is a deer’s, not a human’s. This is probably partly because Gordie may believe he has killed not June, but her spirit. Also, part way through her explanation, he runs off into the forest, so he does not listen to her properly. Furthermore, Gordie may be too drunk to be rational.

10. Gordie is in the woods, howling.