Effects Of Borrowed Text In Leslie Marmon Silko's Ceremony

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Effects of Borrowed Texts in Ceremony Tayo, the protagonist in Leslie Marmon Silko’s Ceremony, struggles to find himself after his experience in the war. Tayo is of Mexican and Native American heritage, very much like the author herself. Tayo struggles to be accepted by both of his cultures, Native American and Mexican, while his “brother” Rocky rejects his Native American heritage and assimilates to white culture. With the novel being written in 1977, thirty years after World War II, its context can be aimed educating others about post traumatic stress disorder. For all intents and purposes, writings are considered any means of communication, either through the use of oral poetry or a reference in dialogue to another book read by a character. …show more content…

Tayo comes home from war and is immediately institutionalized for his battle fatigue, he is treated by white man’s doctors because he is a soldier. Nothing helped Tayo recover from his experiences in the war, seeing Rocky die and living through the Bataan death march. His grandmother insists he is to be seen by the medicine man even though he is not full-blood Laguna Pueblo, Auntie retorts with, “You know what the Army doctor said: ‘No Indian medicine.’ Old Ku’oosh will bring his bag of weeds and dust. The doctor won’t like it,’” (Silko, 1977, p. 31). Auntie is trying to assimilate everyone in her family to white culture because it is the better race to be apart of. By borrowing from Western medical ideals and Native American healing ceremonies Tayo is being torn in half, he does not know which culture he should rely on for help. In the end, Tayo heals and unifies his world using Laguna Pueblo medicine …show more content…

Tayo’s uncle Josiah bought a breed of cattle that would survive desert conditions, but also give them milk and meat to live off of. Josiah was also given a book on the agricultural science of cattle breeding, but it is deemed useless as it is tailored towards large farms away from the desert, and it was written by white men who were unaware of desert conditions that make it difficult to have a farm. Tayo enjoyed the idea of helping Josiah with his mixed breed cattle, yet Rocky deemed the breeding futile because white scientists in his textbook did not deem the breeding acceptable. “‘Those books were written by scientists. They know everything there is to know about beef cattle. That’s the trouble with the way the people around here have always done things---they never knew what they were doing.”... He did not hesitate to speak like that, to his father and his uncle, because the subject was books and scientific knowledge---those things that Rocky had learned to believe in,” (Silko, 1977, p. 69-70). Rocky’s reliance on white man’s writings and knowledge creates a stark contrast between him and his family’s heritage. Rocky’s distrust and denouncement of his Laguna Pueblo heritage upsets Tayo, but he still accepts Rocky because he is

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