Asti's AP Lit & Comp 2016-2017 discussion

Love Medicine (Love Medicine, #1)
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Prompt #1 - Theme (LM)

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message 1: by Mrs. Asti (last edited Jun 19, 2016 09:42PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mrs. Asti | 14 comments Mod
In retrospect, the reader often discovers that the first chapter of a novel or the opening scene of a drama introduces some of the major themes of the work. Consider the opening sections of Erdrich's novel under the heading "The World's Greatest Fisherman." Then, construct a well-supported paragraph explaining the function of an early scene as it ties to themes that develop throughout the text.

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message 2: by Solange (new)

Solange | 13 comments Solange Cordovi

The opening section of Louise Erdrich's novel, begins with an introduction of June Kashpaw. Throughout this scene, the author gives the reader descriptions of who this woman is and where she is headed. June Kashpaw is,"long-legged Chippewa woman," who is heading home to the reservation. The reader discovers that this is a wise woman because she has, "seen so many come and go." Although she was thrown off course by a man, she does find herself returning home. As the reader knows by reading the further chapters, she does not make it home. June Kashpaw passed away but her spirit seems to be alive throughout the novel. The characters are reunited due to her death and face a series of family issues, many relating to June. It seems as if the author wanted to introduce June in the beginning as a reference to who she was and her last moments. The function of an early scene is to give insight to the future chapters. The author wants the reader to be able to make connections throughout the novel. For example, the name of the chapter “The World’s Greatest Fisherman” is a reference to King’s, June’s son, World’s Greatest Fisherman Hat.

Question: Other than making symbolic connections, what are other functions of an early scene?


message 3: by Sharina (last edited Aug 15, 2016 05:37PM) (new) - added it

Sharina Hernandez | 13 comments Sharina Hernandez
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The beginning chapter, titled “The World’s Greatest Fisherman”, is a significant chapter to the book as a whole due to its key role in establishing the text. In this novel, the introductory chapter exhibits two main themes of the story: religion and family relationships. One way religion is established through the repetitive mention that June died on Easter, the same day in which the resurrection of Jesus Christ is celebrated. This idea of resurrection resurfaces with the colored eggs that Andy and June are eating at the bar. At a glance, it only seems like a sexual rouse in attempts to seduce June. However, in some cultures, eggs are considered a symbol of resurrection, which comes right back to the Catholic culture. The writer also utilizes a metaphor that states, “What she walked toward more than anything else was that blue egg in the white hand, a beacon in the murky air” (page 2). Initially, the egg symbolizes June and her body when Andy “[peeled] that for her…and handed her the naked egg” (page 2), but it then changes to a guiding light. Just like the religious figure Jesus, this suggests to the reader that June, being the egg, is a beacon of light that, as we later see, guides the overall plot. On the other hand, family relationships amongst the Kashpaw family are highlighted in this first section. The writer identifies some of June’s closest family members and some of the many complex relationships in the text. The audience is first exposed to the love-hate relationship between Zelda and Albertine Kashpaw as the writer states, “I was so mad at my mother, Zelda, that I didn’t write or call for two months. She should have gone up the nun’s hill to the convent, like she wanted, instead of having me” (page 10). Evidently, this reveals the unstable bond between this mother and daughter since the child is even at the point of wishing she wasn’t born due to the lack of affection she feels from her mom. Another relationship that is established is between Eli and King Kashpaw. While drunk, King gives his uncle, Eli, his prized hat after bonding about hunting and began confessing in a drunken emotion rush how much he values and respects him (page 32-33). This short scene establishes King’s love both for Eli and alcohol. Overall, this chapter sets the foreground for the several themes of the book by simply providing a glance. As one continues through the story, the depths of these themes grow greater with each individual introduced.

Other than making symbolic connections, what are other functions of an early scene? (Solange Cardovi)
Early scenes are also essential to a body of text by providing a cornerstone for what is to come. The beginning sections allow for the main characters to be introduced, even if it is only briefly, and also establishes some of the conflicts, big or small. For instance, this novel first raises June to one’s line of vision. By doing so, it suggests to the readers that she is a significant figure that will play a big role in the rest of the story. As it turned out, June was the real reason the story began; when she died, there was a butterfly effect in revealing the depths of each character to each other and to the audience with flashbacks, retellings, and exposing their inner thoughts. Additionally, the initiation of the novel exhibits one of the many lives of American Indians and the struggles they had to endure as they were constantly exploited by the government of their lands. Not only that, but it also displays the emotional conflict that American Indians went through as they were marginalized by others.


Raina | 3 comments Raina Salinas

One of the early scenes in “The World’s Greatest Fisherman” introduces a major element that ultimately aids in the development of themes throughout Love Medicine. Near the ending of June Kashpaw’s section, she emerges out of Andy’s car and begins a trek that will be left unfinished. However, June’s section conclusion seems to signal an optimistic ending in which she “walked over [snow] like water and came home” (pg. 7). By ending June’s section with that simile, Louise Erdrich effectively establishes June as water connecting all narratives in the book like a system of rivers linked together. A prominent motif in Love Medicine, water is present in the development of themes relating to identity, journey, and suffering. Water is present in the parallels of Marie and Nector’s suffering. Marie feels worn down by Nector when he “fell on [her] like a wave” (pg. 95). She feels as smooth as a polished stone but finds no comfort in being weathered by the suffering that Nector places upon her. On the other hand, Nector feels as though time was rushing past him like “water around a big wet rock” (pg. 123). Weighed down by the expectations of Marie and his tribe, he feels his youth wash by him, leaving him robbed of the enjoyment of life. While water was used as an introduction, it also cycles over to the ending. In the final page, Lipsha muses about his mother, saying that he thinks of her as “part of the great loneliness being carried up the driving current” (pg. 333). He was first hesitant to learn about his true identity in the earlier chapters, but he comes to accept—and even take pride in it—in the final chapter. In a final act that shows full acceptance of his identity, Lipsha finishes what June never did: to come back home.


Erin Gallo | 13 comments Erin Gallo
In “Love Medicine”, Louise Erdrich presents the first section of the book “The World’s Greatest Fisherman” with an introduction of June Kashpaw; “She was a long-legged Chippewa woman, aged hard in every way except how she moved.” (Pg.1). Kashpaw was in Williston, North Dakota waiting for her noon bus to return home the morning before Easter when she was intrigued by a man at the bar and “what she walked toward more than anything else was that blue egg in the white hand…” this line allowed the readers to understand she was hungry and she was mainly focused on the egg rather than the man which could already tell one a lot about her character. Kashpaw then states “You got to be different” (Pg.4) and “she was ready for him now” (Pg.5) which reflects that she’s had previous experience with few men whom may have mistreated her and the fact that she was ready for him so easily just after a beer and conversation at the bar also tells a lot about her morals. During the drive out of town on a county road, Kashpaw and the man became sexually engaged in his car until “his head fell heavily” (Pg.5) then she left and walked far enough to see the “lit clouds over Williston”. At the ending of the section it states, “June walked over it like water and came home” her use of simile reflects the symbolism of water and is featured throughout the novel as life which nearly all characters mentioned. For example, when Hector comes to a realization of how he was basically being pushed and guided through his life he stated “And then it was like the river pooled. Maybe I took my eyes off the current too quick, Maybe the fast movement of timed had made me dizzy. I was shocked I remember the day it happened.” Meaning he was comparing the toll of his life to these water currents. Although, the utmost use of the water symbolism was the parallelism towards the beginning of the novel and the end; Kashpaw was trumping through snow on her walk back after the car incident with the random guy from the bar and then at the end of novel her son, Lipsha, brought her spirit home across the river as if she had been resurrected. Overall, by Erdrich presenting such a troubled character who later dies signifies the true peculiarity the Kashpaw family holds that’s revealed later in the novel and even if June had died, they still continued to tag her along in later sections of the novel to show her influence on the characters and their stories.


message 6: by Erica (new)

Erica Sarria | 7 comments Erica Sarria
The very first chapter of the novel “Love Medicine” by Louise Erdrich is titled under “The World’s Greatest Fisherman”, this chapter basically opens up the novel to the reader. It starts of with a description of June Morrisey and what she was doing. June comes off as a promiscuous woman as to w’hat she's doing. The title of this opening later ties in with who is called “the worlds greatest fisherman” which happens to be somewhat of a drunk. He isn't ordinary, he breaks the “indian stereotype” this man happens to be june’s son, king. His mothers death impacted him causing him to turn to alcohol.


message 7: by Natalie (new)

Natalie | 12 comments Natalie Roque
The first chapter of Love Medicine, written by Louise Erdrich titles "The World's Greatest Fisherman". Like every other opening chapter in every other book, this chapter introduces readers to its main character and background which eventually ties into the plot and theme later on the story. June Kashpaw is introduced as a "long-legged Chippewa woman" (p. 1) and a little later on readers learn of her promiscuous occupation while she is in a car with a man. Her story closes as she walks into a storm in Easter and was presumed dead. As the story develops, Erdrich gives light to a peculiar character named King, which happens to be June's boy. His character consists of a drunken, emotionally-wrecked mess, and in one of his "drunken moments" he voluntarily hands his "best cap" (p.33) his wife gave him with the front patched in blue and white and read "World's Greatest Fisherman" over to his uncle which later on is the person to calm him down after he has an emotional breakdown over the death of his mother. The fact that readers are introduced to main characters and their backgrounds in the opening chapters of stories is crucial because eventually everything ties into specific themes and events which then gives complete understanding of why certain characters do the things they do and why they go through the experiences they go through.


message 8: by Jay (new)

Jay | 13 comments Jayri Santos 8/25/2016





In "Love Medicine" written by Louise Erdrich she starts the novel with the heading "The world's greatest Fishermen." (Page 1) "The morning before Easter Sunday, June Kashpaw was walking down the clogged main street of oil boomtown Williston..." June Kashpaw death in the "The world's greatest Fisherman" helps open up the book to June's family past and present lives. Without June's death in the beginning of the novel the characters wouldn’t have experienced what they experienced after June died. Such as when Henry junior died (page 193) "Then he's gone. A branch comes by. Another branch. And I go in." Lyman wouldn’t have changed his personality if Henry junior didn’t die. "A month after June died Gordie took the first drink, and then the need was on him like a hook in his jaw..."(page 212) June's death affected everyone in some way. By Louise Erdrich starting with the "The world's greatest Fisherman" it set a path for the all of the rest of the stories to be told and for all the characters to have an ending.


message 9: by Xayanjely (new)

Xayanjely Lopez | 14 comments Xayanjely Lopez

The opening scene in Louise Erdrich's "Love Medicine", the author introduces June the first character of the book which is probably meant to hint to the reader that she will we involved in later scenes. Her death does not interrupt the author's plan to use the character later on in the story but in fact makes her death quite ironic when saying "June had wedged herself so tight against the door that when she sprang the latch she fell out. Into the cold. It was a shock like being born..." Moments before June dies the author makes this quick statement on June illustrating to the readers that she feels re-birthed when really she is seconds away from her death. Additional to that, characters soon start to develop throughout the first chapter. Readers find out more about the characters and their behavioral traits and the way they communicate with their family. The first chapter foreshadows the family's weakest point. It emphasis the family's dysfunction which is later to be thoroughly explained in further chapters.

Question: What is something that happens in the first chapter that is a theme throughout?


message 10: by Luis (new)

Luis Mentado | 8 comments Luis Mentado

The opening chapter for Love Medicine depicts June Kashpaws return to her reservation, a return with a distraction that would later lead her to her death. On the day before Easter while waiting for the noon bus that would take her home, June became distracted by a man she saw as familiar. Throughout the chapter, she and the man head to a bar for drinks and would later find themselves in the man’s pickup on the side of a road on a stormy winter’s day. After a sexual encounter with the man while intoxicated, June decided to head home walking; intoxicated and confused she walked and walked with an amazing amount of determination, this though did not make her realize that a storm was coming and that she would later die to the same storm. Junes dead served as a catalyst for most of the book, the title itself “The World’s Greatest Fisherman” was a reference to her son, King, Who wore a World’s Greatest Fisherman Hat.


message 11: by Sergio (new)

Sergio | 11 comments Sergio Gomez
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The first chapter of the Louise Erdrich's "Love Medicine", titled "The World's Greatest Fisherman" starts the book off with June, an old lady, walking back to her home in a snowstorm. June dies going back, though, and the chapter moves on from her perspective to her niece's perspective as she receives the letter about the death of June. The first chapter introduces several themes that can be found throughout the rest of the book. The first of these is death and how it is handled as several characters who are introduced in the first chapter are later affected by the death of June. Another theme is family as the chapter talks about how the family has reunited after the death of June and share stories about her and how she impacted them. Throughout the rest of the book, these theme are explored even further and deepened as most of the family tells their story.


message 12: by Kellany (new)

Kellany Marin | 9 comments Kellany Marin
In the opening chapter Louise Erdrich opens up by giving the narration in third-person. June Kashpaw is introduced, "a long-legged Chippewa woman" who is walking down the street in Williston, North Dakota waiting for a bus to take her home to reservation. The author mentions that she has seen many come and go and this gives the reader another way to identify her as a person of wisdom right of the bat and not just a lady waiting for a bus. The author explains how a man crossed her path and got her attention a man by the name of Andy which she sat at a bar with and got in his car but led to nothing; the author also made sure to mention that Instead of walking back toward Williston, she decides to "walk home." Later on in the story the reader finds out she does not actually make it home. Also the author starts the novel with a death very early on but it is a crucial part of the story because this death of June Kashpaw brings everyone together but surfaces many issues involving June. The author did a great job in creating connections throughout the story to keep the reader thinking of every part of the book and not forgetting the beginning of the book that correlated with many things through the middle and end of the novel.


message 13: by Arael (new)

Arael Ruiz (arael67) | 8 comments The opening scene introduced the readers to a character central to several of the characters lives, and foreshadows certain themes that will be further explored throughout the text. One such theme, is dealing with death the right way. Erdrich mentions how June is strong because she has seen many come and go, but instead of losing her mind because of it, she became wise and used these experiences to be a better person. This is in contrast to the way her son, King, deals with her death. King develops alcoholism as well as anger issues and abuses his wife. This aids the author in demonstrating to the reader how dealing with death incorrectly can bring serious consequences to you, and the people around you.


message 14: by Luis (new)

Luis Gonzalez | 8 comments Louis Erdrich’s novel is composed of many different chracters throughout Love Medicine. In the first chapter, Ms. Erdrich introduces the character, June Kashpaw, who is described as a “long-legged Chippewa woman.”. The main themes throughout the novel and in this chapter are family and death. It’s evident that within June’s death in the first section, conflicts arise between different family members. At the beginning of the book, there is a family tree that signifies the importance of family. Although, it is ironic because family is supposed to support each other, in the novel some family relatives do not get along with each other. June’s death is able to foreshadow the concept of death throughout the novel because of so many death in the following chapters.


message 15: by Gerardo (new)

Gerardo Alemany | 4 comments In louis Erdrich's novel, love medicine, there are many underlying themes, but none more important than the bond of family and the benefits and the pain that comes along with this. Junes death foreshadows this in a way, although it brought the family together, if only briefly, it sparked old tensions and new problems as well. But the only way this family may mend its issues is to come together and work towards fixing it. This novel also touches on a sensitive matter, being proud of your heritage and where you come from. Many times in this novel this subject is brought up and characters feel vulnerable when speaking about there heritage.


message 16: by Tajae (new)

Tajae | 7 comments In Louis Erdrich's novel, love medicine is composed of many different types of characters each depicting a different theme throughout the novel. One of these characters being June Kashpaw , who is described to be a "long-legged Chippewa woman". The main themes throughout the novel is mostly family and death, as seen when June died problem started to arise between everyone in the family. Another example would be her son king, which after her death started to turn to alcohol and became a hard drinker. A death in the family could be severe, but effects of it should not affect a person gravely.


message 17: by Aaron (new)

Aaron Chichester | 13 comments Aaron Chichester
The function of an early scene in a book may highlight what will come in the following chapters. In "Love Medicine", Louis Erdrich strategically introduces June Kashpaw in the first paragraph. This is done because all the connections between her family and issues will stem from her and her death. From reading the first paragraph, readers will already assume that June is very experienced with various men. Multiple references are made in the first paragraph that relates to Christianity or Jesus himself. For example, we are already aware that chapter one takes place the day before Easter. Then Louis Erdrich states: "The snow fell deeper that Easter than it had in forty years, but June walked over it like water and came home." Jesus was known to have walked over water and the purpose of the Easter holiday is to celebrate the resurrection of Christ. In addition, there are two later chapters named "Crown of Thorns" and "Resurrection". So the clear reference of Jesus is expressed in the first chapter and is carried throughout the story.


message 18: by Crystal (new)

Crystal | 12 comments Crystal Verdceia
"The World's Greatest Fisherman" is the opening scene for "Love Medicine" in which Louise Erdrich introduces the character June Kashpaw.Erdrich gives the reader a description June saying “She was a long-legged Chippewa woman” and how she long old but no in the way she walk. Erdrich also explains how June is going Home for Easter but June is soon distracted by a man in the bar; Andy. When June and Andy were hitting it off, they decide to leave and drive off. After a few miles of driving, Andy stops the car to get intimate with June which didn’t really happen since Andy fell asleep on June. June sneaks out the car and begins to walk home. A heavy snowstorm was happening but June was determined to get home for Easter but the reader so learns that June dies. The theme is showing us the importance of family and how being there for each other is important. First off June was so determined to get to home that she literally died from a snowstorm. As the story continues the reader learns that everyone comes back home to visit June Kashpaw and pay their respect. June’s death brought everyone home and tied them together. For example Albertine came back home after running away, just for June’s death. Erdrich was showing the reader that family sticks together especially tough times.

Other than making symbolic connections, what are other functions of an early scene? (Solange Cardovi)
I agree with Sharina Hernandez about being the reason the story began was because of June’s death. Her death brought everyone home and together which helps build the story .As the story goes we get a more information about the characters who came to June’s funeral and the people they’ve encounter in their own life. Not only do we just read about the characters but we also read more about June. June’s other appearance in “Love medicine” helps bring in other ideas and themes. The book presents these characters by talking about the past and the present.


message 19: by Bryan (new)

Bryan | 12 comments Bryan Rojas

The opening chapter for Love Medicine by Louis Erdrich starts off with the story told in the perspective June Kashpaw. As the reader goes through the novel, they clearly see on why the author begins the book with June’s story. June’s last moment’s takes place in a bar where she meets a man named Andy, instead of taking the bus back home she spends the night with him where they later have intercourse. Despite the harsh weather she decides to walk back home in the snow storm, even though she really makes it back. The reader gets to see June’s last moments of her life and the kind of person she was, this later on is able to introduce the rest of the characters that were greatly affected by June’s death and their backstories that are connected with June. Throughout the whole novel readers are able to see the conflicts that arise with June’s death, and get to see the emotions that arrive with it, and how it will change the way they feel for each other. The significance of this chapter is that really sets up the whole novel, bringing the characters back to their home reservation, and how their interactions among each other greatly affect one another.


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