“Ceremony” by Leslie Marmon Silko

Write a response essay on the novel Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko.

Leslie Silko's Ceremony is a highly informative and insightful work that offers a closer glimpse into the lives of Pueblo people and their culture.

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Ceremony by Leslie Silko The novel Ceremony, written by Leslie Silko deals with the actions of a Native American youth after fighting, and being held captive during.

This essay is based on the book “Ceremony” by Leslie Marmon Silko.

If Native American community adopts the ethics of white traditions that regards them as less than human being, they begin to look down on themselves. In ‘Ceremony’ Leslie Marmon Silko visibly represents this dual bind sociology called internalized domination.

Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko PenguinRandomHouse com Tucson Weekly

In its extraordinary range of character and culture, Almanac of the Dead is fiction on the grand scale. The acclaimed author of Ceremony, Leslie Marmon Silko has undertaken a weaving of ideas and lives, fate and history, passion and conquest in an attempt to re-create the moral history of the Americas, told from the point of view of the conquered, not the conquerors.

Silko, Leslie Marmon (1977). Ceremony. New York: Viking.

“Ceremony” by Leslie Marmon Silko

Ceremony also serves as a sort of warning to Native American peoples of the danger their culture is in. Throughout the novel Tayo and his friends are all struggling to find some sort of identity. Many of them turn to alcohol, as they do not have jobs, positive relationships, or aspirations to define them. This is very detrimental not only to their personal health, but to the health of their relationships with each other, the reservation, and the earth in general. Silko is obviously warning about the dangers of alcoholism, but more than that, she is stressing the importance of being connected to one’s culture because of the power it has in shaping identity and patterns of thinking and behavior. Tayo, unlike his friends, does rediscover his Native American heritage after returning from war. When he does this, he learns of the healing powers of ceremony, of feeling connected to something beyond the mundane world of people and business transactions. Throughout the novel Silko stresses how important it is that ceremonies are passed down and carried on, but that they do not have to be exactly the same every single time, as the differences are what make them special. Ceremonies must be willing to adapt to the time and the circumstances in which they are being played out, otherwise they risk becoming trite and losing significance. Silko is making the same argument for Native American cultures in general. While tradition should be preserved and treasured, Native peoples must also be willing to adapt and adjust to the larger society in which they find themselves, as being compromising and fluid is the only way to retain a traditional culture without having it face destruction.

Write a response essay on the novel Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko.

In her novel Ceremony Leslie Marmon Silko explores several themes through Tayo’s struggles with alcoholism and healing after returning from WWII, the Pueblo myths, and the interactions between these two stories.


Leslie marmon silko ceremony essay

For Leslie Marmon Silko (Laguna), the strength of tribal traditions is based not on Indians' rigid adherence to given ceremonies or customs but rather on their ability to adapt traditions to ever-changing circumstances by incorporating new elements. Although this theme is most fully developed in her … [novel ], it is also present in her earlier short stories, "The Man to Send Rainclouds," "Tony's Story," "from Humaweepi, Warrior Priest," and "Yellow Woman."…

Ceremony Leslie Marmon Silko Analysis

As one reviewer notes, Silko "encompass traditional storytelling, discussions of the power of words to the Pueblo, reminiscences on photography, frightening tales of the US border patrol, historical explanations of the Mayan codices, and socio-political commentary on the relationship of the US government to various nations, including the Pueblo" [9]

essays ceremony leslie silko

Silko's novel is a beautiful reflection on the ways in which we are all interconnected--all humans and all of nature--but do not see this connection. Because we do not see this connection, we continue to destroy ourselves, our fellow humans, and the world in which we must live. Tayo finally makes this connection through seeing the connections between Los Alamos and the creation of the atomic bomb and his own experiences: "From the jungles of his dreaming he recognized why the Japanese voices had merged with Laguna voices, with Josiah's voice and Rocky's voice; the lines of cultures and worlds were drawn in flat dark lines on fine light sand, converging in the middle of witchery's final ceremonial sand painting. From that time on, human beings were one clan again, united by the fate the destroyers planned for all of them, for all living things; united by a circle of death that devoured people in cities twelve thousand miles away, victims who had never known these mesas, who had never seen the delicate colors of the rocks which boiled up their slaughter" (246). Upon this realization, he is relieved to find that "he had never been crazy. He had only seen and heard the world as it always was: no boundaries, only transitions through all distances and time" (246).

Ceremony novel by Leslie Marmon Silko cover photograph

Leslie Marmon Silko's opens with a defense of storytelling. Storytelling is a way of making the world, a way of protecting self and culture. itself takes part in this process, telling the story of Tayo, a young Native American come home from WWII and severely traumatized by the experience. He is sick, depressed, suffering from PTSD, it seems, and unable to re-integrate into his society. Until he visits Betonie, that is, a medicine man who tells him about the witchery that is at play in the world, witchery that Tayo can help put an end to as he completes a ceremony that will also help him heal.