Braiding Sweetgrass

by

Robin Wall Kimmerer

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The Adviser Character Analysis

Kimmerer’s unnamed adviser in college is a negative figure in the book and in Robin’s development. When she first arrives as a freshman and tells him that she is excited to study botany because of her love for plants and the beauty of nature, the adviser is immediately dismissive and insists that she must stick strictly to science. The adviser represents how pure science can be limiting when it is divorced from other kinds of knowledge and experience.
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The Adviser Character Timeline in Braiding Sweetgrass

The timeline below shows where the character The Adviser appears in Braiding Sweetgrass. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 5
Indigenous Wisdom and Scientific Knowledge Theme Icon
Motherhood and Teaching Theme Icon
...college to study botany, full of excitement and wonder at the natural world. When her adviser asks her why she wants to pursue botany, Robin tells him about her lifelong love... (full context)
Indigenous Wisdom and Scientific Knowledge Theme Icon
Animacy and Value Theme Icon
...otherwise.” This is what she wanted to learn about in school, but professors like her adviser insisted that science was something else entirely. (full context)
Indigenous Wisdom and Scientific Knowledge Theme Icon
Motherhood and Teaching Theme Icon
Animacy and Value Theme Icon
The Indigenous Past and Future Theme Icon
...of science that she is taught, despite her natural tendency to see things holistically. Her adviser writes that “She’s done remarkably well for an Indian girl.” (full context)
Indigenous Wisdom and Scientific Knowledge Theme Icon
Motherhood and Teaching Theme Icon
Animacy and Value Theme Icon
The Indigenous Past and Future Theme Icon
...kind of knowledge. These elders, she realizes, pursue questions that science does not. Like her adviser on the first day of school, science’s scope in this case is narrow and ignores... (full context)