The Protagonist in Leslie Marmon Silko’s “Ceremony”


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Essay #: 060619
Total text length is 9,896 characters (approximately 6.8 pages).

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The beginning:
The Protagonist in Leslie Marmon Silko’s "Ceremony"
In Leslie Marmon Silko’s Ceremony, the protagonist, Tayo, is on a quest for his own identity and place in the world. The son of a white father and a Laguna mother, and a veteran of the Pacific in World War II, Tayo wanders the southwestern landscape, remembering the horrors of war, of his childhood, adrift on the fringes of white and Indian culture. It is not until he rediscovers his Laguna roots that Tayo recovers the strength he needs to survive the modern world in which he finds himself.
Tayo was cut loose from his roots by the actions of his Auntie, and perhaps the inaction of his mother, because of alcohol. The insidiousness with which alcohol has attacked Indian culture is...
The end:
.....llup bars. (Silko, 1977, p. 252)
But Tayo does not act. He has learned Josiah’s lesson that good, evil, peace and destruction must coexist. Having eschewed alcohol and violence, Tayo returns to the fold of the Laguna people, and ultimately discovers not only who he is, but what the truly powerful forces in nature are:
[T]he mountain was far greater than any or all of these things. The mountain outdistanced their destruction, just as loved had outdistanced death. The mountain could not be lost to them because it was in their bones. (Silko, 1977, p. 219)
Gunn Allen, P. (1992). The Sacred Hoop: Recovering the Feminine in American Indian Traditions. Boston: Beacon Press.
Silko, Leslie Marmon. (1977). Ceremony. New York: Penguin Books.