The character of Linden Lark in The Round House from LitCharts | The creators of SparkNotes

The Round House

Linden Lark is a local white man who rapes Geraldine at the book's beginning. Linden, who is the son of Grace and George Lark and is Linda Lark's twin biological brother, is a disturbed and bigoted man. He enjoys verbally abusing people, including Linda, and then mockingly apologizing for it. Linden, suffers from drug and alcohol problems, and received a kidney from Linda several years before the novel starts. Linden rapes Geraldine after he discovers that Geraldine is trying to help Mayla enroll her child in the Chippewa tribe. Linden, who says that he is in love with Mayla, is distraught that she had a child with someone else, and he also seems to intend to steal the money that the baby’s father, South Dakota governor Curtis Yeltow, gives her. Linden kills Mayla and hides her body in the construction site near the reservation. Because of his crimes, Linden meets the qualification of a wiindigoo (a human that feeds on other human flesh), meaning that Joe acts according to tribal justice when he kills Linden towards the book’s end.

Linden Lark Quotes in The Round House

The The Round House quotes below are all either spoken by Linden Lark or refer to Linden Lark. 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:
Women, Bigotry, and Sexual Violence Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Harper Perennial edition of The Round House published in 2013.
Chapter 5 Quotes

Now you listen to me, Joe. You will not badger me or harass me. You will leave me to think the way I want to think, here. I have to heal any way I can. You will stop asking questions and you will not give me any worry. You will not go after him. You will not terrify me, Joe. I’ve had enough fear for my whole life. You will not add to my fear. You will not add to my sorrows. You will not be part of this… All of this… It is all a violation.

Related Characters: Geraldine (speaker), Joe Coutts, Linden Lark
Page Number: 89-90
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 6 Quotes

The welfare stole me from Betty and I was alone in the whiteness.

Related Characters: Linda Lark (speaker), Linden Lark, Betty Wishkob
Page Number: 123
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 7 Quotes

You don’t swear on the job, said Sonja. You’re representing something.
Okay.
We drove for a few miles. I asked what I was representing.
Reservation-based free market enterprise. People are watching us.
Who's watching us?
White people. I mean, resentful ones. You know? Like those Larks who owned Vinland. He's been here, but he’s nice to me. Like, he's not so bad.
Linden?
Yeah, that one.

Related Characters: Joe Coutts (speaker), Sonja (speaker), Linden Lark
Page Number: 141
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 8 Quotes

I suppose I am one of those people who just hates Indians generally… my feeling is that Indian women are—what he called us, I don't want to say… He said we have no standing under the law for a good reason and yet have continued to diminish the white man and to take his honor… I won't get caught, he said… I know as much law as a judge. Know any judges? I have no fear… The strong should rule the weak. Instead of the weak the strong! It is the weak who pull down the strong.

Related Characters: Geraldine (speaker), Linden Lark (speaker), Joe Coutts, Bazil, Mayla Wolfskin
Page Number: 161
Explanation and Analysis:
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Linden Lark Character Timeline in The Round House

The timeline below shows where the character Linden Lark appears in The Round House. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter Three: Justice
Women, Bigotry, and Sexual Violence Theme Icon
...that George and Grace Lark are dead, but that their daughter Linda and their son Linden are still alive. Bazil describes the Larks as the type of people who pretend to... (full context)
Storytelling, Formality, and Writing Theme Icon
Parenthood, Foster Families, and Coming of Age Theme Icon
...Lark gas station and helped Whitey open his own, putting the Larks out of business. Linden Lark returned home around that time, and Grace Lark died soon after. Joe asks if... (full context)
Chapter Six: Datalore
Parenthood, Foster Families, and Coming of Age Theme Icon
...Travis as a suspect. Joe asks his father if the police have talked to either Linden or Linda Lark, and Bazil tells Joe that he talked to Linda. Bazil seems troubled... (full context)
Storytelling, Formality, and Writing Theme Icon
Parenthood, Foster Families, and Coming of Age Theme Icon
...a title proclaiming “Linda’s Story.” Linda tells Joe and Bazil how she was born after Linden and she struggled to take their first breaths. As the nurse was about to clear... (full context)
Parenthood, Foster Families, and Coming of Age Theme Icon
...Lark. After Grace called the first time, Linda felt intense resentment toward both Grace and Linden. Four days later, however, Grace called again and told Linda that she had always wanted... (full context)
Parenthood, Foster Families, and Coming of Age Theme Icon
...saying she wished she’d never given Linda up. Linda, trying to distract Grace, asked how Linden was, and Grace explained that Linden needed a kidney transplant and that Linda was his... (full context)
Parenthood, Foster Families, and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Land, the Judicial System, and Justice Theme Icon
...called Sheryl to tell her about meeting with Grace, Sheryl insisted that Linda not give Linden the kidney, shocked that Linda was even considering it after Grace’s abandonment her. Still, Linda... (full context)
Women, Bigotry, and Sexual Violence Theme Icon
Parenthood, Foster Families, and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Later, as Linda sat with Linden in the hospital, Linda asked Linden about his job as a mail carrier, and Linden... (full context)
Parenthood, Foster Families, and Coming of Age Theme Icon
...think of what to say, tries to comfort Linda. Bazil asks why Linda still gave Linden her kidney. Linda says that she did it for Grace. After the procedure, Linda got... (full context)
Chapter Seven: Angel One
Women, Bigotry, and Sexual Violence Theme Icon
...the white people watching them, like the Larks. Joe warns Sonja to watch out for Linden, and Sonja tells him she likes using Linden to make Whitey jealous because Whitey thinks... (full context)
Chapter Eight: Hide and Q
Women, Bigotry, and Sexual Violence Theme Icon
...also has a loving family. He then drives off. Joe realizes that the man was Linden Lark. (full context)
Chapter Nine: The Big Good-bye
Women, Bigotry, and Sexual Violence Theme Icon
Land, the Judicial System, and Justice Theme Icon
...Finally, Bazil opens a drawer in his desk and pulls out a mug shot of Linden Lark. Joe tells Bazil that he saw Linden at Whitey’s before he was taken into... (full context)
Women, Bigotry, and Sexual Violence Theme Icon
Bazil puts the mug shot away again and says he thinks Linden is aware that they will not have a strong case against him. Bazil compares Linden... (full context)
Land, the Judicial System, and Justice Theme Icon
Bazil tells Joe that since Grace’s death Linden has been living in her house, which was searched after he was arrested. Nothing significant... (full context)
Parenthood, Foster Families, and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Land, the Judicial System, and Justice Theme Icon
...and sees Joe standing there. Joe guesses that law enforcement was not able to charge Linden Lark with the crime. Bazil says nothing, and Joe becomes furious, mocking his father and... (full context)
Women, Bigotry, and Sexual Violence Theme Icon
...says goodbye. In the kitchen, Joe, Geraldine, and Bazil all eat together, not speaking about Linden. (full context)
Chapter Ten: Skin of Evil
Women, Bigotry, and Sexual Violence Theme Icon
Parenthood, Foster Families, and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Land, the Judicial System, and Justice Theme Icon
...in. Joe, who has sorted out his feelings toward Linda, decides he resents her because Linden is alive thanks to her kidney donation. Joe takes Pearl out to play in order... (full context)
Land, the Judicial System, and Justice Theme Icon
...on Geraldine’s grocery list. As they turn into the meat aisle, Bazil and Joe see Linden Lark looking in one of the cases. Bazil throws the carton of cream he is... (full context)
Women, Bigotry, and Sexual Violence Theme Icon
Land, the Judicial System, and Justice Theme Icon
...that they are in Fargo, Geraldine goes to get coffee and Bazil asks Joe about Linden’s whereabouts. Joe doesn’t know, but later that night, while Geraldine is out of the room,... (full context)
Women, Bigotry, and Sexual Violence Theme Icon
Chippewa Tradition vs. Catholicism Theme Icon
Parenthood, Foster Families, and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Land, the Judicial System, and Justice Theme Icon
Geraldine is confused about why Linden would call Sonja “rich.” Joe, upset, puts a pillow over his head. They lie there... (full context)
Women, Bigotry, and Sexual Violence Theme Icon
Chippewa Tradition vs. Catholicism Theme Icon
...that unnerves him (which turns out to be the idea that he has to kill Linden Lark). When they get back to their house, Joe thinks back on the fight in... (full context)
Parenthood, Foster Families, and Coming of Age Theme Icon
...is not just planning on shooting gophers, and Cappy understands that Joe intends to kill Linden Lark. Joe explains that he would not want to implicate anyone else, but Cappy insists... (full context)
Parenthood, Foster Families, and Coming of Age Theme Icon
...she did not lie about where the rape had happened so that they could prosecute Linden. Geraldine says she isn’t sure, but that she wishes she had lied and it’s too... (full context)
Parenthood, Foster Families, and Coming of Age Theme Icon
...her birthday. Joe wishes Linda happy birthday, and then, trying to steer the conversation toward Linden, says that he thought that Linda was born in the winter. (full context)
Parenthood, Foster Families, and Coming of Age Theme Icon
...fact, he really likes her. Unexpectedly, Linda tells Joe that she is sorry she saved Linden. She then says that Linden left her a voicemail saying that he was going to... (full context)
Parenthood, Foster Families, and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Joe then asks Linda if Linden plays golf, and Linda looks at Joe and blinks. Joe, thinking fast, tells Linda that... (full context)
Chippewa Tradition vs. Catholicism Theme Icon
Land, the Judicial System, and Justice Theme Icon
...collect large stones. As they work, Joe tells Cappy about his conversation with Linda about Linden’s golf habits. Cappy tells Joe that they have to start putting Joe’s plan to action,... (full context)
Land, the Judicial System, and Justice Theme Icon
...where he has a clear view of the golf course. Joe waits to see if Linden shows up for hours, but Linden never does, so Joe buries the rifle again and... (full context)
Land, the Judicial System, and Justice Theme Icon
...Thursday Joe goes to the overlook again, even though it is raining. After an hour, Linden shows up. Joe walks down the hill and finds a spot to stand where he... (full context)
Chapter Eleven: The Child
Land, the Judicial System, and Justice Theme Icon
When Cappy and Joe reach the oak tree, they turn and look down at Linden’s body. Cappy drops to his knees and touches his head to the ground. After a... (full context)
Land, the Judicial System, and Justice Theme Icon
...the tribal police car drive by with its lights going. The boys feel certain that Linden is dead, since no sirens are on. As the boys sit in the idling car,... (full context)
Land, the Judicial System, and Justice Theme Icon
...sick, soda and bread to settle his stomach. Whitey then tells Joe that someone killed Linden on the golf course. Joe leaps up, runs to the back of the gas station... (full context)
Women, Bigotry, and Sexual Violence Theme Icon
Parenthood, Foster Families, and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Land, the Judicial System, and Justice Theme Icon
...comes back, he says that he has the summer flu. Whitey continues to talk about Linden’s murder, saying that there is no evidence because of the rain. Whitey then tells Joe... (full context)
Land, the Judicial System, and Justice Theme Icon
As the boys head out back, Cappy asks Joe if Whitey knows they killed Linden. Joe says that he thinks so, since he threw up after Whitey told him about... (full context)
Parenthood, Foster Families, and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Bazil tells Joe to sit down and says that Linden is dead. Joe says he thinks that’s good. Bazil asks Joe if he knows anything... (full context)
Parenthood, Foster Families, and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Land, the Judicial System, and Justice Theme Icon
...possibility of someone finding the rifle. In his feverish state, he thinks that after killing Linden he might become a wiindigoo himself. Joe thinks back to when he was pulling trees... (full context)
Women, Bigotry, and Sexual Violence Theme Icon
Parenthood, Foster Families, and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Land, the Judicial System, and Justice Theme Icon
...both say “I love you,” and then Joe asks if Geraldine is better now that Linden is dead. Geraldine tries to persuade Joe that the answer to that question is yes.... (full context)
Parenthood, Foster Families, and Coming of Age Theme Icon
...too concerned. She tells Joe that she did not take time off work to mourn Linden, but for “other reasons,” which she will tell Joe about if he tells her why... (full context)
Parenthood, Foster Families, and Coming of Age Theme Icon
...she realizes that he got his information about the golf course from her, leading to Linden’s murder. Linda, however, tells him that she thinks Joe was not actually the murderer and... (full context)
Women, Bigotry, and Sexual Violence Theme Icon
Land, the Judicial System, and Justice Theme Icon
Joe surprises both Linda and himself by asking why Linden raped Geraldine. Linda replies that Linden hated Joe’s entire family, but proceeds to say that... (full context)
Women, Bigotry, and Sexual Violence Theme Icon
Linda imagines that Linden wanted to find the enrollment form in order to blackmail Yeltow, and that Geraldine would... (full context)
Women, Bigotry, and Sexual Violence Theme Icon
Joe suddenly is filled with dread, and he asks Linda if he (Joe) is “like” Linden. Linda tells him that while the murder will get to him—or “whoever” (Linda backtracks, still... (full context)
Chippewa Tradition vs. Catholicism Theme Icon
Parenthood, Foster Families, and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Land, the Judicial System, and Justice Theme Icon
...assumes that Angus is talking to him and Cappy, and that he is referring to Linden’s murder. Cappy tells Angus that none of them will go to heaven since they drink... (full context)
Land, the Judicial System, and Justice Theme Icon
Bazil addresses Joe and brings up Linden’s death, saying that he was at first felt relieved to know that Linden was no... (full context)
Chippewa Tradition vs. Catholicism Theme Icon
Storytelling, Formality, and Writing Theme Icon
Land, the Judicial System, and Justice Theme Icon
...kinds of justice,” including both “ideal justice” and “best-we-can-do-justice.” Bazil comforts himself with knowing that Linden was unquestionably guilty and that it resolves a legal problem created by the questions of... (full context)
Chippewa Tradition vs. Catholicism Theme Icon
Land, the Judicial System, and Justice Theme Icon
...murder: one in which he and Cappy are at the golf course and they shoot Linden, but then Joe and Linden switch bodies and Joe’s spirit is the one dying, while... (full context)
Women, Bigotry, and Sexual Violence Theme Icon
Storytelling, Formality, and Writing Theme Icon
Land, the Judicial System, and Justice Theme Icon
...body in the construction site and that even if he and Cappy had not killed Linden, Linden would go to jail for murdering Mayla as soon as the body was found.... (full context)