Barbara Rhine
Barbara Rhine asked:

Do readers like Erdrich's portrayel of spirit stories as completely real?

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Zoe's Human For someone with my agnostic and secular outlook, it's no different than portraying Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, et. al. as real. Which is to say, I like it just fine. People are shaped by their faith and perceive the world as validating their religion whether it appears to do so to non-believers or not. Therefore, it lends credibility to characters to see the world with the conviction of their creed.
Debra Meyer The spirit stories echo the personal stories of the people depicted. Without the discussion of how a community comes to see a person as a Windigo (for example), the essence of how Joe and his friends identify Linden Lark as a monster who must be destroyed would be lost.
Brooke Yellow Hammer They are real; the spirit stories. To understand the reading it has a lot to do with Restorative justice and the clash between the beliefs of the past and the justice of westernized society.
Wm. A. The stories were real to the characters, and it seemed valid within the world of the novel. In Daniel Everett's book "Don't Sleep, There Are Snakes" (non-fiction), we find that some Amazonian Indians see spirits routinely, and are puzzled at Everett's inability to see them. Everett was there to bring Christianity, and these people started seeing Jesus (acting in very startling ways!).
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