Bidwell Ghost Themes

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Louise Erdrich's poem "Bidwell Ghost" is about a child who died in a fire twenty years earlier and who continues to show up as a ghost at the abandoned land where her home was. The poem uses many familiar elements that readers will associate with horror stories. The presence of the ghost is, of course, frequently used in horror stories, making use of the fact that no one knows what the afterlife might hold. In "Bidwell Ghost," Erdrich uses the idea of a ghost haunting its former earthly home in order to capture the longing that a ghost must feel to return to a place after death. Stories like this often concern a tragedy that occurred at some significant time in the past: in Erdrich's poem, the tragedy happened more than twenty years ago. Ghost stories often take place one, ten, or even a hundred years after the...

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This section contains 870 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.