The Round House | Study Guide

Louise Erdrich

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Course Hero. "The Round House Study Guide." October 4, 2019. Accessed October 18, 2019.


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Louise Erdrich

Year Published






Perspective and Narrator

The novel The Round House is told using first-person narration from the point of view of the protagonist, Joe Coutts. Joe tells the story as an adult, but the perspective is primarily that of his 13-year-old self.


The Round House is told in the past tense.

About the Title

The title The Round House refers to a sacred structure built by the narrator's Ojibwe (Chippewa) tribe as a place to pray, hold ceremonies, seek guidance, and make critical decisions. Its shape and materials have been designed to represent the female body so that the building can serve as a constant reminder that women are to be revered and respected. However, the round house in the novel is the scene of a horrific crime against Joe Coutts's mother and another woman. The structure comes to represent the conflict between the sacred and the profane.


This study guide for Louise Erdrich's The Round House offers summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.

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