The Years of Our Lives by Louise Erdrich

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Easton Baker Sullivan English 102 February 8, 2012 Love Is All You Need Some people have said that a mother’s love towards her child is the strongest type of love. But do you have to be of the same blood to show this type of love? Not according to the author of “The Years of My Life”, Louise Erdrich. Erdrich uses character, style, tone, and setting to show her thoughts on appreciating love from your family. Erdrich uses character to show that blood relation doesn’t mean love. The birth mother of the narrator shows no love to her child from birth. When asked if she wants to try and save her disfigured child, she answers with a swift “No!” However, Betty, the janitor at the hospital, nurses the child, Linda, and decides she would keep it with out even being asked. Betty and her husband Albert begin to try to raise and perfect Linda. They wake her up early and help her stretch her legs in hope that they will one day be straight/normal. They showed the compassion that her birth mother would never give to her child. Linda later recalls, “I must have been held so much that the sensation became a part of me”(65). Fifty years later when Linda and her mother Nancy finally meet for dinner, they don’t hug or even shake hands. The mother may be the birth mother and be related by blood but she sure doesn’t show any love toward her handicapped daughter that she abandoned. The dull and tasteless tone/style of the story express the love between Linda and her adopted and birth family. The tone never really changes; it always stays in a slightly sad and depressing language. Through out the whole paper there is very little description. When Linda is talking about how clean her mother Betty tried the kids and how dirty the dad always got them, she just says exactly that and nothing more; “Betty was always trying to keep us clean, and Albert was always getting us

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