Essay Is About The Character Pauline And Her Many Perversions Of Life In Louise Erdrich's "Tracks".

1454 words - 6 pages

Pauline's Exocentric Identity in Louise Erdrich's "Tracks"During the novel "Tracks" (1988) Louise Erdrich (Anishinaabe) devolves her characters with personality and physical distinctions enabling them to come alive. As Erdrich's most culturally diverse character, Pauline is developed into a distinct and idle shape that is molded and expressed in a unique way. Pauline's exocentric character guides her through the novel with unmatched identity and alienation from her struggling culture. With this development Pauline makes it well apparent of her intent to assimilate into the white culture and to disperse from her Indian ways.As Pauline is developed as a character there is a slight yet sharp unveiling of her mysterious ways and customs. When acting on anything there seems to always be an underlying theme, which to most is recognized as intent of physical and mental transformation into white culture. In any action there is a reaction, and Pauline is a great example of this, an example of causality. The idea or theme of causality for Pauline is what drives her to do what she does. Pauline is very interested in what other people are thinking, and not just about other things but what they are thinking of her and why they feel that way. "We were both clever with materials and scissors, and between us we devised a concealing dress that would allow me to accompany Bernadette until I became too advanced" (132). Pauline is obviously worried about her physical appearance to the rest of the community if she felt that it was necessary to hide what is considered a miracle of life. She was embarrassed and she wanted nobody to know what had happened between her and Napoleon.Now that Pauline is pregnant with Napoleon's child, she feels regret and anger at the same time, not only for herself but for the child as well. Pauline was not ready to have a child and she made that quite obvious when she "pushed the handle of an axe against her stomach" just to avoidZucker 2the situation of her giving birth. This example is one of the many disturbing events that manage to involve Pauline during the novel. As seen Pauline has a very skewed view on her physical and aesthetic appearance to the community and to herself, which in a sense takes over every second that she grasps for in her life.Pauline not only has a low self esteem when it comes to her physical appearance but also finds herself relishing in the fact that she has no sex life, and that she is an inferior sexual being. Pauline looks at Fluer as a dominant and powerful sexually sound woman whom which she admires greatly, this relationship is played out as very tense through out the book. This relationship is the basis of many of Pauline's distinct and disturbing quirks. Pauline's sexuality is a very underestimated power, she has the power to give her sexual feelings to anybody and that is why she is underestimating herself. Unlike Fluer who is in complete control of her sexual powers, Pauline has more power and...

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