Saint Marie Social Concerns

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Touted as being one of the country's best Native American writers, Louise Erdrich explores social concerns important to Native Americans in twentieth century America in her short story, "Saint Marie ." Setting alone stresses the stratification of society in this North Dakota community. The sisters of the Sacred Heart Convent live "on top of the highest hill, so that from its windows," they can look down on members of the Chippewa tribe. Though the convent is poor, it gleams white and enjoys the advantage of being in town, away from the bush.

The setting illustrates the limitations presented to Native-American women in early twentieth-century America, as Sister Leopolda expresses, "You have two choices. One, you can marry a no-good Indian, bear his brats, die like a dog. Or two, you can give yourself to God." Faced with such a decision, Marie Lazarre tries to assimilate into the dominant culture...

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This section contains 168 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Buy the Saint Marie Short Guide
Copyrights
Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults
Saint Marie from Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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