Love Medicine

Love Medicine

by

Louise Erdrich

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Lynette Kashpaw Character Analysis

King’s wife and Howard’s mother. Lynette is a white woman, and King’s Aunt Zelda constantly criticizes and shames her for everything, from the color of her skin to her preference for disposable diapers. King is a violent and cruel husband, both verbally and physically, and Lynette frequently wears the welts and bruises of his abuse. Lynette’s character is another example of violence against women in the novel, and like the other women, Lynette manages to stay strong in the face of abuse and oppression. She subtly insults King during casual conversations and keeps their dark apartment from being too depressing by decorating with brightly colored pictures and thriving house plants. Despite the obvious power and oppression King holds over Lynette, she still manages to exert some power of her own, even if only in small ways.

Lynette Kashpaw Quotes in Love Medicine

The Love Medicine quotes below are all either spoken by Lynette Kashpaw or refer to Lynette Kashpaw. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Tribal Connection and Family Ties Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Harper Perennial edition of Love Medicine published in 2016.
The World’s Greatest Fisherman Part 2 Quotes

Far from home, living in a white woman’s basement, that letter made me feel buried, too. I opened the envelope and read the words. I was sitting at my linoleum table with my textbook spread out to the section on “Patient Abuse.” There were two ways you could think of that title. One was obvious to a nursing student, and the other was obvious to a Kashpaw. Between my mother and myself the abuse was slow and tedious, requiring long periods of dormancy, living in the blood like hepatitis. When it broke out it was almost a relief.

Page Number: 7
Explanation and Analysis:
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Love Medicine PDF

Lynette Kashpaw Character Timeline in Love Medicine

The timeline below shows where the character Lynette Kashpaw appears in Love Medicine. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The World’s Greatest Fisherman Part 2
Native Culture, Assimilation, and Racism Theme Icon
Female Oppression and Strength  Theme Icon
...worked. Suddenly, a red Firebird pulls up outside. It is June’s son, King; his wife, Lynette; and their son King, Jr. Both Marie and Nector are also crammed into the car’s... (full context)
Female Oppression and Strength  Theme Icon
...out of King’s car, Albertine marvels at how old her grandfather, Nector, looks.  Albertine watches Lynette climb out of the car with her diaper bag and thinks about June. June had... (full context)
Tribal Connection and Family Ties Theme Icon
Native Culture, Assimilation, and Racism Theme Icon
...where King and Eli are. They are probably out joyriding, she says, remarking again on Lynette. “That white girl,” Zelda claims, “won’t keep King long.” Aurelia looks to her sister, exasperated.... (full context)
Tribal Connection and Family Ties Theme Icon
Native Culture, Assimilation, and Racism Theme Icon
Female Oppression and Strength  Theme Icon
When King finally comes back, it is nearly dark. Lynette gets out of the car, her eyes “watery and red.” She adjusts her blouse, which... (full context)
The World’s Greatest Fisherman Part 3
Native Culture, Assimilation, and Racism Theme Icon
Female Oppression and Strength  Theme Icon
...got to ask a real old-time Indian like me for the right words,” he says. Lynette laughs. Eli has to teach them all their culture, she says, and when Eli is... (full context)
Tribal Connection and Family Ties Theme Icon
Female Oppression and Strength  Theme Icon
Later, after both Lynette and King have left the table, Albertine hears shouting outside. “Bitch! Bitch! I’ll kill you!... (full context)
Female Oppression and Strength  Theme Icon
...hear a loud commotion from inside the house. Albertine runs inside and finds King drowning Lynette in a sink full of cold dishwater. Albertine jumps on his back, knocking loose his... (full context)
Tribal Connection and Family Ties Theme Icon
Native Culture, Assimilation, and Racism Theme Icon
Female Oppression and Strength  Theme Icon
...the counter where the pies are cooling. They are destroyed. Albertine yells at King as Lynette runs and hides under the table. King leaves the room, and Albertine turns to the... (full context)
Crossing the Water Part 1
Female Oppression and Strength  Theme Icon
...father, King, says something about a man who has “busted out again,” and his mother, Lynette, screams. Lynette yells at her husband, calling him selfish, asking what she is supposed to... (full context)
Female Oppression and Strength  Theme Icon
...handcuffs. Howard hears one of the neighbors bang on their apartment door, and King and Lynette lower their voices. Howard hears them shut the door to their bedroom, and he closes... (full context)
Crossing the Water Part 2
Tribal Connection and Family Ties Theme Icon
Female Oppression and Strength  Theme Icon
Later, Lipsha sits at King and Lynette’s table, and King tries to convince Lipsha to turn himself in to the military police.... (full context)
Tribal Connection and Family Ties Theme Icon
Female Oppression and Strength  Theme Icon
Lipsha looks to Lynette. Her lip is bruised and swollen, and Lipsha realizes for the first time just how... (full context)
Tribal Connection and Family Ties Theme Icon
Native Culture, Assimilation, and Racism Theme Icon
As they play cards, Lipsha notices that Lynette and King are looking more “jumpy,” and then a news report comes over the radio.... (full context)
Crossing the Water Part 3
Female Oppression and Strength  Theme Icon
...there, they apologize to King and leave. Lipsha asks King for the car’s registration, and Lynette digs in a drawer for the paper, puts it in front of King to sign,... (full context)