Windigo

I am writing my paper for Native American literature class on Louise Erdrich’s Tracks. What I am trying to argue is that one of the main characters, Fleur, is a windigo character. I am finding, though, that the more I read about Windigos, the more each character in the text, and even some of the themes of the text, like capitalism, are windigo characters. The most obvious character that wasn’t even on my radar initially is Pauline, who goes insane in religious fervor and strangles someone with her rosary. Basically, I am having a hard time trying to organize my thoughts, so I thought I would maybe break teh paper into four sections: an introduction that includes a definition of and an exploraiton of Windigos and windigo psychosis, a second section that talks about Fleur as a windigo, a third that talks about Pauline as a windigo, and a fourth about White/Western culture and the logging industry as a form of windigo. I assume that in the introduction I will set forth my own sort of theoretical lens as I look through it to see the windigo characters in the text. Possibly this lens will include the cyclic nature of the windigo, the insanity, the anorexia, the intense hunger, the alienation, and the way the windigo consumes those around them. For Fleur and Pauline, there is the idea that possess supernatural powers because of windigo, but Pauline’s is complicated by her Christianity. I suppose Fleur’s is complicated by her relationship with Nanpush, too. Today as I reread the book, I plan to look for ways that both women go windigo, but I also want to look a the consumptive nature of logging as it plays out as the overarching windigo of the story.

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