Two Lives Paralleled By God Essay Research
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Two Lives Paralleled By God Essay, Research Paper Two Lives Paralleled by God In the book Tracks, written by Louise Erdrich we meet various characters, including Pauline. As we hear stories about her life and circumstances that she encountered and overcame, we gain insight into the life of a woman who fought to gain acceptance in a world where no one would accept her. As Erdrich wrote the book she based the life of Pauline on a Native American historical figure, Tekawitha Kateri. When looking at the lives of these two women we can see the many similarities in their lives, but also many differences that make them unique from each other. As children, Tekawitha and Pauline grew up without the aid of their parents. At age fifteen, Pauline asked her father to send her away to go to live with his sister. Pauline wanted to be like her mother who was half – white and like her grandfather who was pure Canadian. Her father obeyed her wish and sent her away to her aunt. Like Pauline Tekawitha grew up with out parents. When the whites came to the Americas they ??brought sickness with them and many of the Indian people died? (Tekawitha 1). This was the case with Tekawitha?s parents. They both died of a sickness when Tekawitha was only four years old. Soon after, she went to live with her uncle (Tekawitha 1) As Pauline and Tekawitha grew up, they sought a life of Catholicism. They both sought it in similar yet unique ways. Tekawitha was introduced to the religion when ??men came to the village where Tekawitha lived (Tekawitha 2). Tekawitha listened to what the men had had to say about God?s son and how he showed the people how to live in peace. For eight years the ?black robes?, as they were called, came to Tekawitha?s village teaching and baptizing the people. Tekawitha wanted to be baptized but feared displeasing her uncle. Finally she did get baptized. As time progressed some of her people thought that she was betraying them and ??going over to the whites? (Tekawitha 2). She tried to keep the attitude that things would change for the better but with the passing of time realized that it would not. ?She decided that it would be better if she left her home? (Tekawitha 2). She traveled to a Christian village and there spent the rest of her life. Like Tekawitha, Pauline also left her home and went to live with the nuns and soon became one herself. It all happened suddenly when Pauline became pregnant by Napoleon. Pauline rejected the baby all along even attempting to kill herself and the baby. Bernadette convinced Pauline to do no such thing and to have the baby. When the baby was born Pauline gave the baby to Bernadette. Pauline named the baby ?Marie? for the Virgin Mary? (133). After recovering from the delivery Pauline left and went to the convent where she would in time become a nun herself. In Tekawitha and Pauline?s struggle to become as holy and cleansed by god as possible they both practiced rituals to bring them closer to god. Pauline had many awkward rituals such as wearing her shoes on the wrong feet. She wore her shoes on the wrong feet to torture herself. She said ?I suffer for His sake as He did for yours? (146). She also restricted herself to only going to the bathroom two times a day (147). Pauline said that she had a routine: At night, I did not allow myself to toss or turn for comfort, but only to sleep on my back, arms crossed on my breasts in the same position as the Virgin received the attentions of our Lord. When I woke I released myself, and then broke the ice on the buckets. I used my hand and no spoon I drank only hot water, took the thinnest cut of bread unless Superior forced hers on me? I put burrs in the armpits of my dress and screw grass in my stockings and needles in my neckband. Superior forced me to turn my shoes the right way around, buy I let my toenails grow until it ached to walk again and each step reminded me of His tread on the path to Calvary?