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Leslie Marmon Silko’s Ceremony

The publication in 1977 of Ceremony – the first novel by Leslie Marmon Silko, made her a key figure in the cultural renaissance of Native Americans. Thanks to the modification of ancient traditions and adaptation of modern literary forms to the cultural needs of American Indians her work attracted the attention of those who lived in her tribe and public critics.

The events in the novel take place immediately after the Second World War. The protagonist Tayo as the very author, is half Native American, has just returned from the war in the Philippines, where he firsthand saw thousands of senseless deaths (his brother Rocky died there too), where he had to kill (and not kill) foreign enemies on the alien American war for others’ (white) values.

Tayo returned home sick with so-called war fatigue, emotionally and mentally broken, quite frail and infirm. Trying to forget and destroy in his head the images of all those deaths that occurred in the recent past, a still quite young war veteran sorely confused as to who he is. Doctors are unable to help Tayo, his illness could not be treated with pills and morphine. As a result, the only thing that worked was a return to the cultural memory, spirit of ancestors, to nature and the land on which he was born and raised – Laguna, and therefore – a complete immersion into the world of Indian myth and American culture with its legends, stories, rituals, and ceremonies. Only in Laguna broken by uranium bomb, thanks to the legends of the old shaman and women of his tribe Tayo finds long-awaited peace, renewal and healing.

Critics praised Ceremony: reviews were full with compliments – they said, here it is a recipe and a panacea for all the other lost generation; literary critics dedicated to the novel of Silko books and articles. In short, it was the sheer glory among critics and readers.

The text of the novel Ceremony is finished with the words of the grandmother of the hero about that she is far too old, because everything that happens here she had heard and seen, just by a different name. For the average representative of the white culture it can be interpreted as the approach of death, but for a Native America it is evidence of recurrence of life. Most Native American desire everything to be the same as it was before.

The publication in 1977 of Ceremony – the first novel by Leslie Marmon Silko, made her a key figure in the cultural renaissance of Native Americans. Thanks to the modification of ancient traditions and adaptation of modern literary forms to the cultural needs of American Indians her work attracted the attention of those who lived in her tribe and public critics.

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Assignment ID
100002973
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CREATED ON
November 8, 2016
COMPLETED ON
November 9, 2016
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$8
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