Love Medicine

Love Medicine

by

Louise Erdrich

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Lulu’s Ojibwe husband and Gerry Nanapush’s father. Moses lives on an island away from the reservation, and no matter what Lulu does, she cannot talk him into leaving the island for life on the reservation. Like Eli and Nanapush, Moses speaks the “old language” and lives a traditional Native lifestyle. Lulu is drawn to Moses after she leaves the residential school and is hungry for her culture and language, but she ultimately is not happy living Moses’s isolated life on the island, and she soon leaves him for another man. Moses represents “old-time traditional” Ojibwe culture within the novel, and he manages to maintain his Native identity despite the widespread whitewashing of modern American society.
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Moses Pillager Character Timeline in Love Medicine

The timeline below shows where the character Moses Pillager appears in Love Medicine. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The Island
Tribal Connection and Family Ties Theme Icon
Native Culture, Assimilation, and Racism Theme Icon
...begins to spend her time sitting on a rock, staring out at the island where Moses Pillager lives. Lulu can remember him from when she was a child. He would come... (full context)
Native Culture, Assimilation, and Racism Theme Icon
One day, Lulu asks Nanapush to tell her about Moses, but Nanapush is reluctant. Lulu asks why she shouldn’t visit her cousin, and Nanapush warns... (full context)
Native Culture, Assimilation, and Racism Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Female Oppression and Strength  Theme Icon
Lulu goes to the island anyway. Before long, Moses has completely fallen for Lulu, and he speaks to her in the “old language,” using... (full context)
The Red Convertible
Native Culture, Assimilation, and Racism Theme Icon
...take Henry to the Native American doctor on the reservation, but she doesn’t trust old Moses Pillager. Moses is jealous of Lulu’s husbands, and she fears he will take it out... (full context)
The Good Tears Part 1
Love Theme Icon
...was seeing someone else. After Nector took up with Marie, Lulu went to live with Moses Pillager, but when Moses refused to move off the island, she married “a riffraff Morrissey... (full context)
The Good Tears Part 2
Native Culture, Assimilation, and Racism Theme Icon
Female Oppression and Strength  Theme Icon
...could be more painful than the day Lyman told her Henry, Jr. had been killed. Moses told her once that drowning was the worst death for a Chippewa because they never... (full context)