Love Medicine Questions and Answers Chapter 12

Louise Erdrich

Questions and Answers Chapter 12

Study Questions
1. What makes Lipsha special? Does he retain this trait throughout the novel?

2. What is love medicine?

3. How does Lipsha find out about Lulu and Grandpa Kashpaw?

4. Why do Grandma Kashpaw and Lipsha decide to use love medicine?

5. What is it about the hunt for geese that depresses Lipsha?

6. What spiritual error does Lipsha know he is making when he buys the turkey hearts?

7. What ultimately kills Grandpa Kashpaw?

8. Why does Lipsha confess that he bought the turkey hearts at the store?

9. Give one textually supported explanation for Grandpa Kashpaw’s appearance after death.

10. Where did Grandma Kashpaw get the beaded necklace she gives to Lipsha? What do the beads symbolize?

Answers
1. Lipsha has “the touch.” He can feel energy and heal people. He loses the touch when Grandpa chokes, and cannot revive him.

2. Love medicine is the ancient wisdom of using objects or items to bind one person specifically to another, to cause them to love one another.

3. Lipsha walks in on Lulu and Grandpa Kashpaw kissing in the laundry room.

4. Grandpa Kashpaw keeps returning to Lulu. This offends and wounds Grandma Kashpaw, and Lipsha loves Grandma very much and so wants to help her. If Lipsha can make Grandpa Kashpaw love Grandma, he thinks Grandpa will be true to her.

5. It is very, very cold, and Lipsha misses his first shot and then does not see any more pairs of geese.

6. Lipsha is arguing to himself that the reason that love medicines work is because of the faith of the people involved. However, Grandpa Kashpaw is not supposed to know about the love medicine, and so he could not have faith in it. Furthermore, the objects used in love medicine must be powerful for the love to be powerful, and dead supermarket hearts seem like entirely the wrong sort of objects.

7. Grandpa chokes on the turkey heart Lipsha has given Grandma Kashpaw as the love medicine.

8. Lipsha confesses because Grandma Kashpaw tells him that Nector’s spirit visited her in the night, and she believes it was because the charm used in the love medicine was too strong.

9. The love medicine came from dead animals, so perhaps the charm was too powerful and caused Grandpa Kashpaw to return from the dead. Alternately, Lipsha thinks the desire to express his true love for Marie brings Grandpa Kashpaw to her even after death.

10. The Cree Indians who found June in the woods gave the beads to Grandma to protect themselves; the beads symbolize protection for the giver.