Tayo Transformation In Ceremony

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In Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko, transformation is portrayed as a way to heal Tayo’s inner demons. Within the novel, Tayo faces the horrific symptoms of PTSD, while trying to simultaneously assimilate to both Native American and white culture and therefore accept his true self. Similarly, throughout his journey and transformation Tayo learns that individuals and society as a whole must adapt and include different life perspectives in order to thrive together in harmony. In Ceremony, Tayo begins the novel as a confused young man suffering from PTSD, unable to reconcile his white upbringings and with his traditional Native culture, however as the novel proceeds on he is able to accept both sides of himself to show both communities the importance…show more content…
Tayo meets Nightswan and relates to her childhood as an outsider. She fulfills a female guidance Tayo needs in his life to better understand himself and the challenges he will face. Tayo is leaving Nightswan after sleeping with her and she states, “They are afraid Tayo. They feel something happening, they can see something happening around them, and it scares them. Indians or Mexicans or whites- most people are afraid of change” (Silko, 92). This demonstrates that like Tayo most people from all cultures are frightened of change. Tayo letting go of this fear allows him to adapt to all the cultures that are surrounding him including his own. However, those around him do not approve of Tayo’s transformation. Even though they don’t approve of his transformation he assimilated for his own survival, sooner or later they will have to change too. Tayo is at the bar with Harley telling him stories about being in the war and is interrupted. In the text, it states, “ ‘No! No. I didn’t finish this story yet. See the dumb Indians thought these good times would last. They didn’t ever want to give up the cold beer and the blond cunt” (Silko, 38). This explains that Tayo has transformed because he is degrading his other racial identity, something the whites have always done. Tayo references his native friends who created the illusion that they can drink their problems away but Tayo indicates…show more content…
During Tayo’s last night on the mountain, there are numerous stories told but he is most enlightened with the story about defeating evil witches with mythical magic. In the text, it states, “ The witchman stepped through the hoop he called out that he would be a wolf. His head and upper body became hairy like a wolf But his lower body still human. ‘Something is wrong,’ he said. ‘Ck’o’yo magic won’t work if someone is watching us” (Silko, 230). Tayo relates to this image of a half-wolf half-man because he believes society sees his native roots as animalistic. Through this story Tayo discovers the power of Native American mythology and its ability to stand up to evil and sometimes even white culture. While Tayo is learning the culture’s traditional stories he is also healing slowly by becoming more enlightened about himself and understanding more of his cultural background. Tayo is getting closer to completing the ceremony because all of these traditional stories are intertwining together. This traditional story helps Tayo heal later on because it allows him to understand reality for what it is and what he needs in order to perform the ceremony with elements from both sides of his identity. Tayo is on the mountain at Trinity Site where the first atomic bomb exploded and he realizes each story is

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