Date of Award

4-21-2010

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

First Advisor

Dr. Audrey Goodman - Committee Chair

Second Advisor

Dr. Ian Almond - Committee Member

Third Advisor

Dr. Nancy Chase - Committee Member

Abstract

In her novel Tracks, Louise Erdrich tells the story of a band of Anishinaabe early in the twentieth century. Through the two narrators, one a tribal elder and the other a mixedblood who eventually abandons the traditions of the tribe, the novel offers two divergent perspectives of the events that take place as the government divests the tribe of its land. The conflicting perceptions of these occurrences, which are magical realist in nature, underscore the conflict within the tribe to maintain tradition in the face of the ever-increasing influence of European settlers. The purpose of this thesis is to explore the perceptions at odds with one another in order to shed new light on the significance of Erdrich’s use of magical realism in the text. Highlighting Erdrich’s engagement with magical realism, a largely postcolonial literary device, will hopefully expand notions of identity and authenticity within the Native American literary tradition.

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