Bidwell Ghost Historical Context

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Louise Erdrich grew up in a small town in North Dakota, where her parents taught at a school run by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. "Bidwell Ghost" reflects both her Native American heritage, with its rich history of oral storytelling, and the contemporary American culture that surrounded her. Oral storytelling has always been an integral part of the culture of the North American tribes, in which stories have a spiritual and ceremonial function that they lack in Western literature. They are used to relate history, social lessons, religion, and a general understanding of the world from one generation to the next. The traditional stories often combine elements of nature with the behaviors of humans: for instance, many Native American myths incorporate some form of a "trickster" figure to show humans that the world is not always as simple as it might seem to the naked eye. The form...

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This section contains 864 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Bidwell Ghost Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Bidwell Ghost from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.