Study Guide

Love Medicine Section 2, Chapter 1

By Louise Erdrich

Section 2, Chapter 1

Marie Lazarre

  • Section 2 is called "Saint Marie (1934)," and we betcha this refers to Marie Lazarre.
  • Now we're inside Marie Lazarre's head. From the family tree at the front and the preceding narrative, we know that she's married to Nector Kashpaw, and she's Zelda (and Aurelia)'s mother/Albertine's grandmother.
  • This chapter gives us her memories of being a young girl of thirteen. Unfortunately, a nun named Sister Leopolda at the nearby convent (where Marie had gone to stay) had abused her during this time, doing things like pouring boiling water on her. Her reasoning? Satan was trying to take over Marie. Alrighty then—as long as you have a good reason…
  • In one incident, Sister Leopolda cuts Marie's hand, and when Marie wakes up, all the nuns were sitting there worshiping her. Apparently, Leopolda tried to pass that injury off as evidence of a miracle—that is, stigmata. Marie had played along—after all, as we learn at the beginning of the chapter, she had always wanted to be a saint.

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