Fleur Essay

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Trudell is an independent scholar with a bachelor's degree in English literature. In the following essay, Trudell discusses female relationships, female sexuality, and female power in Erdrich's work, focusing on her short story "Fleur."

Fleur Pillager is a symbol of female sexuality and mystique throughout Erdrich's Chippewa saga. She draws the great practitioner of old Chippewa ways, Eli Kashpaw, to court her; she is rumored to have sexual relations with the water spirit Misshepeshu; she retains some form of magical and sexual power from the spirits; and her daughter Lulu becomes a great matriarch of the Turtle Mountain Reservation, having eight children all by different fathers. Fleur's sexuality refuses to conform to white American notions of an attractive woman. Even her name, which combines the French word for "flower" with the English word that means taking spoils by force, seems to be a contradiction within early twentieth-century American...

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This section contains 1,542 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Fleur Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
Fleur from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.