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Ceremony By Marmon Silko Essay, Research Paper

Ceremony is a novel written by Leslie Marmon Silko. It deals with the gender

roles of three women are significant to the development of a character namedd

Tayo who is half-white and half-Indian. These three women are Tayo’s birth

mother, Auntie, and Old Grandma. His mother left him when he was four years old

and that began his sense of emptiness and abandonment. She could not bear to

raise a child that brought the reservation shame by her mistake. Summary: Auntie

raised Tayo and was the mother figure he lacked. She had no problem accepting to

take him, but only to "conceal the shame of her younger sister".

Auntie was always hesitant toward Tayo as he was not her real son and was also a

half-breed. For Tayo, this only added to his feeling of displacement and

emptiness. She would give her affection and attention to her real son Rocky, but

would let Tayo just sit there alone. After the war Auntie nursed him because he

was all she had left after Rocky got killed. He would wake up crying after

dreaming about how much Josiah had loved him and always hugged him when he was a

littlt child . Now he realized that there was no place left for him and he would

never find peace. Auntie may have been a mother figure to him, but to Tayo she

was just someone who looked after him. Old Grandma, unlike Auntie, does accept

Tayo and wants what is best for him. When Auntie rejected the idea of a medicine

doctor because he’s not "full blood", Old Grandma got angry and said

that he was her grandson and why should she care what they say anyway. She has

been around for many years and doesn’t worry about what other people will say

about Tayo or about their family. The significance of Montano to the novel,

Ceremony is very powerful and vital to the recovery of Tayo. She lives up in the

rim rock and is in touch with the earth and her surroundings in every way. Being

torn between the white world and the Indian world is what leaves Tayo feeling

invisible and hollow inside. Montano helps him to become more in touch with his

Indian side and to feel the strength and power from the earth. She teaches him

the importance of certain plants, flowers, and ceremonies and how they are

significant to Indian culture and survival. Tayo falls in love with her, and

through his love, he begins to feel alive again. He realizes that he does have a

place and that he is not invisible to everyone and to his surroundings. When he

is not with her, instead of the nightmares, she fills his dreams. He woke up one

night and thought about the overpowering love he felt for her. He shed

"tears filled his eyes and the ache in his throat ran deep into his

chest." Tayo no longer feels like a walking shadow, but finally a real

person with feelings and emotions. It is through Montano that he discovers

himself and ultimately is able to deal with being a half-breed in a changing

world. When she finally leaves him, he is able to go on living and remembering

all that she taught him. Conclusion: I really enjoyed this story. It was a great

portrayal of how family might mistreat you just because you are a little

different than them. Sometimes people can?t deal with the fact that a family

member is only half of the race that they are. I would definitely recommend this

book to others, especially to anyone who feels that they are secluded and have

no friends just because they are bi-racial.


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