Animal Dreams

by: Barbara Kingsolver

Loyd

Loyd serves as the vehicle through which Animal Dreams addresses the concerns and the practices of Native American culture. In many ways Loyd and Native American culture are idealized. However, as Codi comments that Loyd's view of Native American culture is idealized, she reminds us of this danger. Nonetheless, Loyd's only flaws, his wild youth, his cockfighting, move quickly into his past.

Loyd is a fertile character, in large part connected to his status as a Native American. Thanks to his understanding of Native American cosmology and to his being raised on the reservation, Loyd has a profound understanding of how to carefully cultivate the fertile land. The land, as it is often called mother earth, is a metaphor for the mother. People who knows how to cultivate the earth, then, metaphorically know how to bear and raise children. In his relationship with Codi, Loyd often takes the role traditionally assigned to the woman, expressing a desire to settle down and have children while Codi seems restless. Loyd agrees to wait patiently until Codi is ready, and he follows rather than leads in sexual advances, afraid that he is loved only for his body. All of these qualities, however, only serve to make Loyd an even more perfect man. Any androgynous qualities he may have only reaffirm his ideal masculinity.


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