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Louise Erdrich’s The Round House, the Wiindigoo, and Star Trek: The Next Generation

Louise Erdrich’s The Round House, the Wiindigoo, and Star Trek: The Next Generation <p>Abstract:</p><p>Since its publication in 2012, the climax to Louise Erdrich’s novel The Round House has troubled many readers due to its apparent idealization of vigilante violence. Joe Coutts’s execution of Linden Lark, his mother’s rapist, feels too easy, too much of a kind with Linden’s own vengeful killings. However Erdrich’s association of Linden with the Anishinaabe legend of wiindigoo, and Armus—a sadistic creature from Star Trek: The Next Generation—reframes this shooting as a ceremonial sacrifice. We can thereby understand Linden’s 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 Erdrich’s afterword assures us is still all too frequently perpetrated on our contemporary Native American reservations.</p> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The American Indian Quarterly University of Nebraska Press

Louise Erdrich’s The Round House, the Wiindigoo, and Star Trek: The Next Generation

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Publisher
University of Nebraska Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 The University of Nebraska Press.
ISSN
1534-1828

Abstract

<p>Abstract:</p><p>Since its publication in 2012, the climax to Louise Erdrich’s novel The Round House has troubled many readers due to its apparent idealization of vigilante violence. Joe Coutts’s execution of Linden Lark, his mother’s rapist, feels too easy, too much of a kind with Linden’s own vengeful killings. However Erdrich’s association of Linden with the Anishinaabe legend of wiindigoo, and Armus—a sadistic creature from Star Trek: The Next Generation—reframes this shooting as a ceremonial sacrifice. We can thereby understand Linden’s 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 Erdrich’s afterword assures us is still all too frequently perpetrated on our contemporary Native American reservations.</p>

Journal

The American Indian QuarterlyUniversity of Nebraska Press

Published: May 11, 2018

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