Love Medicine

Love Medicine

by

Louise Erdrich

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Rushes Bear / Margaret Kashpaw Character Analysis

Nector and Eli’s mother and the wife of Kashpaw and Nanapush. Rushes Bear is a “passionate, power-hungry woman,” and she spends much of the beginning of the book making Lulu and Marie miserable. Rushes Bear is given her name when she literally rushes a bear, and she is another example of the strength of women in Love Medicine.

Rushes Bear / Margaret Kashpaw Quotes in Love Medicine

The Love Medicine quotes below are all either spoken by Rushes Bear / Margaret Kashpaw or refer to Rushes Bear / Margaret 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

She had let the government put Nector in school but hidden Eli, the one she couldn’t part with, in the root cellar dug beneath her floor. In that way she gained a son on either side of the line. Nector came home from boarding school knowing white reading and writing, while Eli knew the woods. Now, these many years later, hard to tell why or how, my great-uncle Eli was still sharp, while Grandpa’s mind had left us, gone wary and wild.

Page Number: 19
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Love Medicine LitChart as a printable PDF.
Love Medicine PDF

Rushes Bear / Margaret Kashpaw Character Timeline in Love Medicine

The timeline below shows where the character Rushes Bear / Margaret 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
...now, it is like his first time. The land had been allotted to Nector’s mother, Rushes Bear , when Nector was just a child, and his brother, Eli, still lives on the... (full context)
The Island
Tribal Connection and Family Ties Theme Icon
Native Culture, Assimilation, and Racism Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
...no longer “cage” her. When Nanapush came to get Lulu, he brought along his wife, Margaret Kashpaw , the one they call “Rushes Bear.” Rushes Bear doesn’t like Lulu, so she punishes... (full context)
Native Culture, Assimilation, and Racism Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Meanwhile, Rushes Bear ’s son, Nector, begins to look at Lulu, and just when Lulu thinks Nector is... (full context)
Native Culture, Assimilation, and Racism Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Female Oppression and Strength  Theme Icon
In the spring, Rushes Bear comes back to Nanapush’s allotment and stays for quite some time. Her attitude is even... (full context)
Tribal Connection and Family Ties Theme Icon
Native Culture, Assimilation, and Racism Theme Icon
Lulu is convinced that she can’t spend another minute with Rushes Bear , and she begins to spend her time sitting on a rock, staring out at... (full context)
The Beads Part 2
Female Oppression and Strength  Theme Icon
Rushes Bear got her name because she once rushed a bear without a weapon. She charged it... (full context)
Tribal Connection and Family Ties Theme Icon
Native Culture, Assimilation, and Racism Theme Icon
Soon, Marie is pregnant again, but her labor is harder than ever before. Rushes Bear sits by her side as the pain progresses, and Nector insists they go to the... (full context)
Crown of Thorns
Native Culture, Assimilation, and Racism Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Female Oppression and Strength  Theme Icon
...loud. “June!” Gordie is instantly regretful that he spoke June’s name out loud. His grandmother, Rushes Bear , always said one should never call the name of the dead—you can never be... (full context)