n Mousaion - Oral tradition and animals in Native American children's literature : Louise Erdrich's The birchbark house as a case study
|Article Title||Oral tradition and animals in Native American children's literature : Louise Erdrich's The birchbark house as a case study|
|© Publisher:||UNISA Press|
|Author||Li-Ping Chang and Chen-Kuei Yang|
|Publication Date||Jan 2009|
|Pages||178 - 190|
|Issue||Special issue 1|
|Keyword(s)||Animals, Children's literature, Native Americans, Ojibwa and Oral tradition|
Louise Erdrich, one of the most outstanding and prolific contemporary Native American writers, has achieved extraordinary popularity over the years for her representations of Native American history and culture. This essay focuses on Aldrich's novel The birchbark house (1999), analysing the importance of oral tradition and the significance of animals in the work, to reflect on the symbolic meanings of both in Native American children's literature. We draw upon Jeanette Rodriguez's discourse on memory, AL Walters's on oral tradition, and John Grim's on shamanism to reveal the significance of oral tradition. Both Howard Harrod's work on animal spirits and animal-human kinship, and Paul Shepard's on animals' and humans' psychological development, elucidate the intimacy between and integration of humans and animals in the novel.
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