Use our LitLovers Book Club Resources; they can help with discussions for any book:
Also consider these LitLovers talking points to help get a discussion started for The Plague of Doves:
1. Spirituality is a powerful theme in the book. What might be the symbolic meaning of the doves? (See also LitCourse 9 on symbolism.) Do you see them as Christian messengers, or (given that they're not white) do they represent a Chippewa heaven?
2. You might talk about the different kinds of spirituality as they compete for the human soul. Also, think about how sexuality is treated differently in the Chippewa and Christian religious traditions.
3. Another theme is the land—the Chippewa's ties to and identification with the land and their dispossession from it. Despite her dreams of Paris, Evelina comes to understand that her identity is tied up with her tribe's loss of their land.
4. Storytelling is a structural device Erdrich uses in the novel as a way to bind past and present—as well as a way to evoke Chippewa traditions and way of life. Do the stories enlarge your understanding of the novel or do you feel they are a distraction? Or what?
5. How does your understanding of Mooshum change by the end of the book?
(Questions by LitLovers. Please feel free to use them, online or off, with attribution. Thanks.)
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