Essay on A Comparison Between The Way to Rainy Mountain and Love Medicine

Essay on A Comparison Between The Way to Rainy Mountain and Love Medicine

Length: 888 words (2.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

In the novels Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich and The Way to Rainy Mountain by N. Scott Momaday, the reader gains views of Native American culture, both past and present, through two disparate means of delivery. Both authors provide immensely rich portrayals through varying literary devices in efforts to bring about a better understanding of problems contemporary Native Americans face, especially regarding their own self-identity.

The story of Love Medicine revolves around a central character, June Kashpaw, and the many threads of relationships surrounding her, both near the time of her death, and in what has gone on before. The novel is an exploration of a family web that June was a key component of. Her character is a pivot point that all other characters revolve around: a love triangle, illegitimate children, life and death, and other issues involving religion, marriage, fidelity and sex. Erdrich uses a method of disjointedness to isolate the various threads as they unravel to shed light on other threads.

In Momaday's work, the reader is on a journey through myth, past and present, as the author draws on oral traditions of Native American storytelling to align-in-parallel a personal journey for understanding of himself, and perhaps the nature of man. Through an inventive technique, Rainy Mountain serves as a way to collect, preserve and disseminate the oral storytelling traditions of Native American storytellers. Momaday has attempted to bridge the oral traditions to written form by weaving three continual strands as a single long braid throughout the text.

When evaluating and analyzing plot between the two stories, one gets a sense that both novels are collages of scenes, with Rainy Mountain having more of a unifi...


... middle of paper ...


... stronger in its roots. The edginess of Love Medicine relates to contemporary reservation life and culture, and it does so powerfully, but it invests itself so deeply in symbols and humor, and is suitable subject matter for almost any culture, that appears almost vaudevillian compared to the more majestic and down-to-earth Rainy Mountain. While both works are worthy of repeated readings, Momaday's The Way to Rainy Mountain is the one work that stands as a monument to the true roots of Native American history and culture, and especially provides an appropriate foothold on self-identity; and Erdrich's Love Medicine stands more as a passing evaluation of a culture's quirks.

WORKS CITED

Momaday, N. Scott. The Way to Rainy Mountain. The University of Arizona Press, 1969.

Erdrich, Louise. Love Medicine: New and Expanded Version. New York: HarperCollins, 1993.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Learning about One's Tribe in the "The Way to Rainy Mountain" Essay

- The Way to Rainy Mountain is by no means a normal novel. It does not have the same cookie cutter formation as most books, where the plot goes from beginning to end in neat little chapters. It is not just a simple book, it is a book that has meaning, and it is a book that makes its readers think. It is a book about connections from the past. These connections are like puzzle pieces that the main character, N. Scott Momaday, has to put together in his journey to truly understand his heritage. Through the past, Momaday finds a way to honor his grandmother’s memory and to connect with his Kiowa culture....   [tags: Way to Rainy Mountain, tribes, Native Americans,]

Better Essays
920 words (2.6 pages)

Past Experiences of Ancestors in N. Scott Momaday's "The Way to Rainy Mountain"

- The Way to Rainy Mountain was written in 1969 by Pulitzer Prize winning author N. Scott Momaday. The novel is about Scott Momaday's Kiowa ancestors and their journey from the Montana area to Fort Sill near Rainy Mountain, Oklahoma, where their surrender to the United States Cavalry took place. In The Way to Rainy Mountain, Momaday traces his ancestral roots back to the beginning of the Kiowa tribe while not only learning more about the Kiowa people but rediscovering himself and finding out what his true identity is....   [tags: Way to Rainy Mountain, N. Scott Momaday, Native Am]

Better Essays
1183 words (3.4 pages)

Essay about Analysis of N. Scott Momaday's The Way to Rainy Mountain

- Analysis of N. Scott Momaday's The Way to Rainy Mountain The Way to Rainy Mountain has a distinct pattern in its form.  In each section, it has three parts, each of whose separateness is clearly marked by its own place in each page and its own typeface: the legend, the history, and the personal memory.  The pattern, however, never makes it simple for the readers to understand the novel.  Rather, it confuses and bothers the readers by placing them where the double edges of reality meet.  On the one hand, there is a reality as the result of the dominant ideology, which has become a priori in many cases, and which has hidden that there is another reality (or possibly, multiple realiti...   [tags: Way Rainy Mountain Essays Momaday ]

Better Essays
962 words (2.7 pages)

Essay about Rainy Mountain

- Rainy Mountain Summary of “ The Way To Rainy Mountain “ ( Momaday p. 430 ) Momaday, tells the story of his grandmother and how she evolved from a land of her ancestry. She, being one of the few “belonging to the last culture to evolve in North America” (431). In a descriptive detail, Momaday, portraits the events that takes us on a journey through time before our modernized society had come into existence. A time of survival, rituals, suffering, and extinction. He starts out by setting the scenery of the place where his grandmother lived....   [tags: Essays Papers]

Free Essays
406 words (1.2 pages)

Essay on Brokeback Mountain and the Western Genre

- The film genre of the Western has long since proven to be more about the conflict and showdowns that occur in the storyline. Usually the western genre incorporates traditional western motifs and icons and adheres to those common plot structures of the genre, but Brokeback Mountain is different from what is to be normally expected because it does not seem like a traditional and conventional Western film at all. Brokeback Mountain has several different twists to it, like the more modern take on it – traditionally, characters in Western films were riding horses, but because Brokeback Mountain is a more modern movie, the two characters Jack and Ennis are seen traveling in cars and...   [tags: Brokeback Mountain Essays]

Better Essays
1012 words (2.9 pages)

Survival and Love in Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain Essay examples

- Survival and Love in Charles Frazier’s "Cold Mountain" I lie In vacant or in pensive mood, They flash upon that inward eye Which is the bliss of solitude; And then my heart with pleasure fills, And dances with the daffodils. (ll. 19-24) Wordsworth’s famous and simple poem, “I wandered lonely as a cloud,” expresses the Romantic Age’s appreciation for the beauty and truth that can be found in a setting as ordinary as a field of daffodils. With this final stanza, Wordsworth writes of the mind’s ability to carry those memories of nature’s beauty into any setting, whether city or country....   [tags: Charles Frazier Cold mountain Essays]

Better Essays
3131 words (8.9 pages)

Essay about Brokeback Mountain

- The major plot outline in both the short story and the movie The central drama and point of conflict in any love story is the obstacle between the lovers. In the best known tragic love story in Western history, Romeo and Juliet, the obstacle is their feuding families; in the classic film Casablanca it's virtue and in Brief Encounter, it's the marriage of one of the lovers. This is a story of unfulfilled love in Wyoming. Ennis and Jack, a ranch hand and an aspiring rodeo rider, work together as sheep herders in the summer of 1963 on Brokeback Mountain in Wyoming....   [tags: Brokeback Mountain Essays]

Free Essays
1242 words (3.5 pages)

Tim O'brien's On the Rainy River Essay

- Tim O'brien's "On the Rainy River" Tim O'brien's "On the Rainy River" is a true story told by a 41 year old of his life at the age of 21. The fact that O'brien is writing this 20 years later adds a new aspect to the story. He describes himself as a young man with the world in his back pocket. O'brien has just graduated from Macalester College and has a free ride to Harvard. Unfortunately, his storybook world collapses when he receives a draft notice for the Vietnam war, a war that he has "taken a modest stand against"(44) in 1968....   [tags: Tim O'brien On the Rainy River]

Better Essays
674 words (1.9 pages)

On The Rainy River by Tim O'Brien Essay

- The relationship you have with others often has a direct effect on the basis of your very own personal identity. In the essay "On The Rainy River," the author Tim O'Brien tells about his experiences and how his relationship with a single person had effected his life so dramatically. It is hard for anyone to rely fully on their own personal experiences when there are so many other people out there with different experiences of their own. Sometimes it take the experiences and knowledge of others to help you learn and build from them to help form your own personal identity....   [tags: O'Brien Rainy River Essay Analysis]

Free Essays
1068 words (3.1 pages)

Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier Essay

- Cold Mountain In Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain, the theme of music is one of the novel’s most powerful themes. From symbolizing character growth to the healing of physical wounds, music plays an integral part in this novel. While many critics will point out that music has little effect on the human psyche, Charles Frazier shows his belief that music does indeed have a profound effect on the human mind throughout Cold Mountain. Throughout the novel, Inman, Ada, Ruby, Stobrod, and many other characters experience music that allows them to keep faith against the odds or even heal their wounds....   [tags: Cold Mountain Charles Frazier]

Better Essays
2616 words (7.5 pages)