Morality In Tayo's Ceremony

1069 Words5 Pages
On the other hand, as the story of Ceremony progresses, Tayo’s Native American cultural background affects his morality. In the beginning, during a conversation Tayo has with his uncle Josiah, the book states,
He pointed his chin at the springs and around at the narrow canyon. “This is where we come from, see. This sand, this stone, these trees, the vines, all the wildflowers. This earth keeps us going.” He took off his hat and wiped his forehead on his shirt. “These dry years you hear some people complaining, you know, about the dust and the wind, and how dry it is. But the wind and the dust, they are part of life too, like the sun and the sky. You don’t swear at them. It’s people, see. They’re the ones. The old people used to say that droughts
…show more content…
Betonie uses ceremonies as a fluid construct for bettering culture and not as something that should be strictly followed. With the introduction of witchery, ceremonies no longer work if people stick to the old ways. Tayo’s traits have so far been molded by the ceremonies and memories of the past but Betonie offers a new way into shaping one’s self. To survive, one needs to adapt to changes all around them, which is what happens in Tayos case. Up to this point, his sickness has only marginally gotten better by using the old ways of Native Americans. Past this point, Tayo starts improving immensely, having his mind, body, and soul be reborn into a new state of existence. Just like how ceremonies stopped working in a continuously changing society, his psychological traits could not live in a ever expanding world. The only way for Tayo to survive was to have his culture be transformed to effectively influence him. In each book, Marji and Tayo both experience the development of psychological traits due to their cultural influences. The difference between these two characters is the fashion in which they developed these traits. By transitioning out of what the rest of the world sees as the “norm”, Marji gets sucked into a world of tragedy and war. Her culture and religion are based off these events and while they might be a better situation for an adult, she has to live through and develop a personality as a child. Tayo is entirely the opposite, coming from a world of war and trying to assimilate back into society. To successfully try and combat the difficulties in assimilating, he looks to his culture that is based around the old Native American stories and ceremonies. By doing this, he transitions from a world devoid of culture to culture being the only thing that keeps him going. Both of these characters, without their knowing, are subjected to the cultures of
Open Document