Literary Precedents for The Beet Queen

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Erdrich often imbues action with symbolic and mythic overtones. Karl buries his head in the fragrant blossoms of a tree and then tears off one of its branches to defend himself from a dog. In the process he scatters the blossoms and kills the tree. Later Mary decodes the scene by noting her irritation with Karl, whose "face glowed in the blossoms' reflected light, pink and radiant, so like the way he sat beneath our mother's stroking hand." Symbolic writing such as this, and mythic writing, especially when Erdrich is dealing with native American characters, powerfully impresses itself on her readers' imaginations.

The most important literary influence on Erdrich is clearly William Faulkner, in particular, his handling of time and narrative point of view. Erdrich uses, for the most part, multiple first person narrators in The Beet Queen, clustering them around a single experience or a common place...

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This section contains 359 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy The Beet Queen Study Guide
Copyrights
Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults
The Beet Queen 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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