<p>Abstract:</p><p>Since its publication in 2012, the climax to Louise Erdrichâs novel The Round House has troubled many readers due to its apparent idealization of vigilante violence. Joe Couttsâs execution of Linden Lark, his motherâs rapist, feels too easy, too much of a kind with Lindenâs own vengeful killings. However Erdrichâs association of Linden with the Anishinaabe legend of wiindigoo, and Armusâa sadistic creature from Star Trek: The Next Generationâreframes this shooting as a ceremonial sacrifice. We can thereby understand Lindenâs shooting as what Girard termed the pharmakos, the scapegoat that absorbs and personifies the violence of the larger community and whose death therefore helps short-circuit the violence that Erdrichâs afterword assures us is still all too frequently perpetrated on our contemporary Native American reservations.</p>
The American Indian Quarterly – University of Nebraska Press
Published: May 11, 2018
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