Braiding Sweetgrass

by

Robin Wall Kimmerer

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Franz Dolp Character Analysis

Franz Dolp was an economics professor, philanthropist, and poet who moved to the Pacific Northwest and set about planting thousands of trees, attempting to lay the groundwork for a new old-growth forest to replace those that had been lost. Franz’s writings show how patient study and work can repair one’s relationship to the land, as well as help to heal the land itself.
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Franz Dolp Character Timeline in Braiding Sweetgrass

The timeline below shows where the character Franz Dolp appears in Braiding Sweetgrass. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 24
Indigenous Wisdom and Scientific Knowledge Theme Icon
The Indigenous Past and Future Theme Icon
...narrative now shifts to the late 1980s and describes a man in his fifties named Franz Dolp, who is clearing a trail through thick brush and writing in his journal about... (full context)
Reciprocity and Communalism Theme Icon
Gifts, Gratitude, and Responsibility Theme Icon
It takes several days of work for Franz to clear a path to the top of the ridge, where he is able look... (full context)
Reciprocity and Communalism Theme Icon
Gifts, Gratitude, and Responsibility Theme Icon
Animacy and Value Theme Icon
...by a hundred years later almost all the old growth was gone. At this time Franz is living with his wife and two children in Oregon, planting apple trees and working... (full context)
Reciprocity and Communalism Theme Icon
Indigenous Wisdom and Scientific Knowledge Theme Icon
Gifts, Gratitude, and Responsibility Theme Icon
The Indigenous Past and Future Theme Icon
...are self-sustaining communities, like the old-growth human communities that grew up alongside them. At Shotpouch, Franz decides that his goal for his own wounded patch of land is “to plant an... (full context)
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The Indigenous Past and Future Theme Icon
First Franz builds a cabin for himself—made of cedar, as he originally intended, but he has to... (full context)
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Indigenous Wisdom and Scientific Knowledge Theme Icon
Gifts, Gratitude, and Responsibility Theme Icon
Animacy and Value Theme Icon
To even own the land at Shotpouch, Franz has to register an “approved management plan” for the property, which is not classified as... (full context)
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Indigenous Wisdom and Scientific Knowledge Theme Icon
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Motherhood and Teaching Theme Icon
Animacy and Value Theme Icon
...for logging, but no one had previously attempted to plant a natural, old-growth forest before. Franz has only the forest itself to teach him, so he closely observes how old-growth forests... (full context)
Indigenous Wisdom and Scientific Knowledge Theme Icon
Franz sometimes doubts if his plan will work, as it seems especially difficult to restore the... (full context)
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Indigenous Wisdom and Scientific Knowledge Theme Icon
Gifts, Gratitude, and Responsibility Theme Icon
...a common tree in many areas, especially in swampy soil that other species don’t like. Franz thus plants most of his new cedars alongside creeks. The antimicrobial properties of cedar wood—which... (full context)
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Indigenous Wisdom and Scientific Knowledge Theme Icon
Gifts, Gratitude, and Responsibility Theme Icon
Franz starts dating someone named Dawn, who works alongside him clearing brush and planting trees. They... (full context)
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Kimmerer then comments on another name on Franz’s map: “Old Growth Children.” The name implies faith and hope for a future even after... (full context)
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Indigenous Wisdom and Scientific Knowledge Theme Icon
Gifts, Gratitude, and Responsibility Theme Icon
Motherhood and Teaching Theme Icon
Animacy and Value Theme Icon
The Indigenous Past and Future Theme Icon
Franz’s journal continues, as he describes how he has come to think of forestry as an... (full context)
Reciprocity and Communalism Theme Icon
Gifts, Gratitude, and Responsibility Theme Icon
Animacy and Value Theme Icon
The Indigenous Past and Future Theme Icon
Franz writes that he believes his work has taken root and he has hope that it... (full context)