Abstract

Abstract:

Since its publication in 2012, the climax to Louise Erdrich’s novel The Round House has troubled many readers due to its apparent idealization of vigilante violence. Joe Coutts’s execution of Linden Lark, his mother’s rapist, feels too easy, too much of a kind with Linden’s own vengeful killings. However Erdrich’s association of Linden with the Anishinaabe legend of wiindigoo, and Armus—a sadistic creature from Star Trek: The Next Generation—reframes this shooting as a ceremonial sacrifice. We can thereby understand Linden’s shooting as what Girard termed the pharmakos, the scapegoat that absorbs and personifies the violence of the larger community and whose death therefore helps short-circuit the violence that Erdrich’s afterword assures us is still all too frequently perpetrated on our contemporary Native American reservations.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-1828
Print ISSN
0095-182X
Pages
pp. 141-161
Launched on MUSE
2018-05-11
Open Access
No
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