The school year has came to an end and I began rejuvinating every independent reading time we have been given. Recently I've been reading a book, which has been chosen from a list of college level titles and I came across a title that made me suspicious to know what the book was about. The title contains two words that correlate to one another and is prevalent to connect to situations happening in today's society. The book I'm reading is an old classic called Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich, which is the first novel Erdrich had published.
Love Medicine is a composition of five different characters experiences about love, translated in a third person's perspective. The story take place on a Native American reservation and focuses on the intertwined fates of two families- the Kashpaws and the Lamartines. In the story, it portrays the two families experiencing betrayal, love and struggles to bond with one another. These themes are based on Native American storytelling as it is a big part of their culture to express these life situations in an artistic manner. So far I finished reading the perspectives of June Kashpaw and began reading the perspective of her aunt, Marie Lazarre. Marie wanted to be a nun , but all of sudden she met a guy named Nector Kashpaw, who now is her husband on her way home from the Sacred Heart Convention. Nector was a successful businessmen and had an affair with Lulu Nanapush who has been in plenty of affairs and even bore children from these relationships. After getting married, this love triangle has become a dramatic saga.
In the story, the relationship between Nector and Marie is one sided because Nector still has feelings for Lulu and doesn't admire his relationship with his actual wife. On page 162, Marie and Nector's relationship is described through a symbolic meaning of love, as Marie expresses, " Sometimes he'd look at me, I'd smile, and he'd think to himself: salt or sugar? But he would never be sure. " ( Erdrich 162 )
As Marie and Nector's relationship strains, Nector has decided to write a letter to Marie saying that he is leaving her for Lulu and he places the letter under the sugar jar. Later that night, Marie saw him coming home and soon she realizes that Nector really loves her and wouldn't be able to leave her. Even though Marie is a forgiving and caring, she wants Nector to suffer and understand for how much pain he has done to her, so with her indirect approach she has put the letter under the salt can, which makes Nector realize that she hasn't read the letter, in a way that she doesn't care about him.
I find this quote very significant because even though people go through many obstacles to maintain proper relationships, we should always have hope and forgive each other for our mistakes as we continue to move forward because it builds moral character, despite people being egocentric.