Local folklore credits Fleur with the death of two men—she seems to absorb the power of men to keep living. She becomes a somewhat androgynous figure. The narrator describes her as: Her cheeks were wide and flat, her hands large, chapped, muscular. An old green dress clung to her waist, worn thin where she sat. Her braids were thick like the tails of animals, and swung against her when she moved, deliberately, slowly in her work, held in and half-tamed, but only half.
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Fleur Pillager is a young woman, who originally was constantly drowning in Lake Turcot. The first time she drowns, two men save her, but the men soon disappear and are unusually never seen again. This event makes the public very suspicious, so the next time she drowns nobody saves her.
While walking on the beach of the lake, a man comes across her washed-ashore body. When he gets to close to the body, she suddenly wakes up and lays a curse on him. Within no time, the man ends up drowning in his own bathtub. This event is the last straw for the public and they decide to banish her from the reservation. Fleur ends up moving to the town of Argus, and begins working in a butcher. With them in the butcher are the male workers Dutch, Tor and Lily , who happen to be very obnoxious and are obsessed with gamboling.
Their obsession with gamboling makes them oblivious to the girl workers in the butcher, and this results in them getting disrespected constantly. Intimidated by the immense power that the men have, Fleur challenges them to games of poker in the hope of proving her own power. After playing with them, she ends up doing well and quadruples her playing money. At first, her victories bode well with the men as they seemingly appreciate her power, but as the novel goes on this changes.
After many victories, Fleur asks Lily if she can gamble for his pig instead of money. Unsurprisingly, this statement annoys the men and they chase after her. Lily survives the attack thanks to the support of his friends. Pauline patiently waits for Fleur or the men to come back, but they never do. After being named responsible for the death of three different men, Fleur is banished from the reservation and moves to the nearby town of Argus.
Living in Argus gives her the opportunity to showcase her undisputed power, especially against men. She is often given very animal-like features when she is described.
Pauline: Pauline is a young girl, who works in the butcher under her dad, Dutch. Pauline was taken out of school right when her mom died and was given the responsibilities of being the oldest woman in the house. When Fleur comes to work at the butcher, she becomes an inspiration for Pauline because she is powerful, despite being a woman.
Her sister Heidi became a poet and also lives in Minnesota; she publishes under the name Heid E. Post secondary education[ edit ] Erdrich attended Dartmouth College from to During her first year, Erdrich met Michael Dorris , an anthropologist , writer, and then-director of the new Native American Studies program. During that time, she worked as a lifeguard, waitress, researcher for films,  and as an editor for the Boston Indian Council newspaper The Circle. She earned the Master of Arts in the Writing Seminars in She returned to Dartmouth as a writer-in-residence.