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Marie Lazzarre-Kashpaw Marie Lazzarre-Kashpaw is an extremely central character in Loise Erdrichs novel Love Medicine The collection of short stories chronicles Maries life from her battles with an abusive nun at age fourteen to conflicts with her children and grandchildren at the age of sixty-four Throughout the novel she takes on many roles and can be associated to a great many themes images objects and details In the text of this paper I will present a few of these roles and associations in an attempt to better understand the Marie Lazzarre-Kashpaw character and determine what her presence accomplishes in the larger narrative of Love Medicine One recurring theme throughout the novel is Maries reluctance to be associated with her Lazzarre roots The Lazzarre clan is thought of as the trash of the community as most of them live in extreme poverty and have serious drinking problems Marie is embarrassed by her roots and is thoroughly disgusted by her family barring her sister Lucille This is most evident in the part of the novel when Maries mother gives her Lucilles daughter June after the child is found orphaned in the woods We dont know how the girl done it said the old drunk woman who I didnt claim as my mother anymore Lucille was coughing blood offered the Morrissey the whining no-good who had not church married my sister You dog I said Where were you when she died He was working in the potato fields the old drunk one wheedled Her eyes had squeezed back into her face Her nose had spread and her cheeks were shot with black veins He was rolling in his own filth more like it I said The were standing on my steps because I would not allow them onto my washed floor Erdrich 85-86 The fact that Marie will not allow her own family into her house for fear of them
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