The Almanac Of The Dead Analysis

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The Mansion Of Colonialism The path to revolution, to legitimate change, is paved in the blood and sweat of those willing to exert change, but of those people, what compound of groups creates the ideal coalition, that is what Leslie Marmon Silko seeks to prescribe in her works The Ceremony and The Almanac of the Dead. Both works address the predicaments of the disenfranchised in a world with an ineffective safety net, but they both also address the solution to this conflict in two separate ways, cultural warfare, and physical revolution. For ages in human society the question of the means to go about overthrowing the oppressor and the measures that can morally be taken have been questioned, should rhetoric or weaponry win the day, Silko’s…show more content…
And this perspective is exactly what Silko questions, throughout The Almanac of the Dead there are characters displayed that question their predicament and wish to better themselves, but they choose to better themselves through the means of hostile takeover, of oppressing the oppressor and in doing so they sacrifice the moral high ground required to make revolution justified. In contrast The Almanac gives us the character of Tayo, a Native American veteran, who upon returning from World War II returns home to go on a cultural and spiritual journey that ends in his mental state being restored and his people being bettered. In these two narratives, one can draw two distinct lines that the oppressed can take, fight against impossible odds, or endure and change the odds in your favour. As Tayo partakes in traditional ceremonies of his people, he reinvigorates them, having succeeded in bringing rain back to his people after a long drought, he reflects on the perspective of his uncle Josiah, the man who taught him the ceremonies, Josiah had said to Tayo “...Nothing was all good or all bad either; it all depended.”(The Ceremony, Silko, pg 432) In this Tayo is reflecting upon the nature of rain but also on the “white men” and how they are not simply an evil force but that they may also bring salvation. On the reverse of this The…show more content…
Once the revolutionaries have successfully penetrated the walls of the oppressors, it is now time for the philosophy of the end goal to be put on display, and this is where perhaps the greatest failings in the hostile approach are found. Following his triumphant rituals that saved his people Tayo returns to his people with a renewed sense of self and a renewed confidence in his culture which he may now share. The ending of The Almanac of the Dead however, sees a group of revolutionaries prepared to take up arms and assault the institutions around them, there is no plan made for the establishment of a better life for the Native American people, rather it is expressly dedicated to revenge against the oppressors. In the case where the oppressor is overthrown the revolutionaries no longer have purpose, much like how the tenets of communism rely on the opposition and overthrow of capitalism the revolutionary action proposed in The Almanac of the Dead require a state of constant opposition, constant revolution to remain relevant. As stated by the revolutionaries in the almanac, “...no legal government could be established on stolen land.” (The Almanac of the Dead, Silko, Pg 311) This argument is definitive and it requires a task that is impossible, the complete overthrow of the western states, within this argument the revolutionaries gave organized themselves to be career
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