|Sažetak rada|| |
The paper analyzes the novels Four Souls (2004) and The Antelope Wife (1998) by contemporary Native American author Louise Erdrich. Describing unusual love relations, complex family ties, and women who, with their almost magical powers, fight against the white influence and their own people's prejudices, Erdrich provides insight into contemporary Native American identity and contributes to its revitalization. The paper consists of two major parts. The first one analyzes a variety of love relations described in the novel Four Souls. It focuses on Fleur's relationship with her children, Lulu and John James Mauser II, and her husband John James Mauser. It also analyzes Fleur Pillager's identity quest and her recovery from its failure and pays attention to the blurring of the boundary between the mythical and the real, and between the human the animal, visible in Fleur's characterization. The second part explores the concepts of love, family, and women's social roles in The Antelope Wife. It analyzes Rozin's marriage to Richard, Klaus's obsessive love for Sweetheart Calico, and briefly sums up the consequences of a love triangle between Augustus Roy, Mary, and Zosie Shawano, emphasizing the diversity of these love relations and their magical elements. The Antelope Wife introduces many concepts of family and shows that, in situations when an individual needs help, the whole community takes up the family's role. It also depicts cultural intermixture as a positive concept and teaches us that forceful and selfish acts only cause imbalance in the community. This section also discusses strong women characters, who fight for their goals and freedom, that abound in this novel. It analyzes Rozin's decision to get rid of Richard's obsessive love and Cally's connection to her ancestors, especially to Sweetheart Calico, as well as her courage to be a mediator between the past and present. This paper supports the thesis that love relationships in both of the novels are not strictly reserved for a man and a woman, but go beyond this basic concept. It is possible to love a place where one resides, or even have feelings for the non-human beings, too. It argues that in Erdrich's fiction family and community are interchangeable concepts since one can get help not only from the closest family members but also from one's relatives. Thus, the cultural mixture within a family is described as a positive concept in the novel. Lastly, the paper emphasizes the role of Erdrich's women characters – their relevance in the community, their strength in defying authority, as well as their power and responsibility to change the world.