Beyond Good And Evil: Sister Leopolda's Traumatic Will To Power
Feitosa, Alisha Stafford
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This is an in-depth analysis of one of Louise Erdrich's most extraordinary characters, Sister Leopolda. I examine Leopolda first as a trauma victim who has suffered the loss of family, witnessed the death and assault of various friends, struggled with her mixed heritage, and fought to establish herself in a world where Indians were rapidly losing their power, their land, and their lives. Second, I use Friedrich Nietzsche's views of power to illustrate how Leopolda's seemingly random and fanatical exploits are actually examples of her will to power. Because of her disturbing past, Leopolda must struggle to survive; her astonishing strength, however, drives her, not only to survive, but to succeed in a world that seems set against her from her birth. Although Leopolda begins her life as a victim, she ultimately uses her will to power to become strong and influential within her own realm.