Tradition And Community In Leslie Marmon Silko's Ceremony

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The book Ceremony is about a man named Tayo. Tayo returns home from war and had to face several mental and psychological challenges. He also has to figure out how to not only help himself, but his people through their beliefs. In Ceremony, by Leslie Marmon Silko, Tayo’s developing character helped show the audience the importance of tradition and community to him and his people. Tayo has just returned to his hometown from World War ii through a Veteran's Hospital. Tayo has severe PTSD from being ordered to shoot someone from another country, but he hallucinated and thought he shot his uncle. He is also traumatized from seeing his cousin die from disease. The author originally portrays Tayo as being isolated, quiet, and has him speak in third person and to himself to show the reader how much the disorder affects him. Tayo begins to make mental progress and the doctor tells him, “‘I am sending you…show more content…
Tayo is mixed, half native american and half white, so his family and the people on the reserve taught him their beliefs. As the story continues, the medicine man, Betonie, tells Tayo the doctors at the hospital weren’t able to completely get rid of his disorder because of a certain belief. That belief is that the cure has to help the entire community in order to work. The reader can see that Tayo and his people believe that if one person is sick, the community is sick. He tells Tayo the only way for him and his community to get better is to hold a traditional ceremony. Tayo goes through with the ceremony. Once it is complete, he says, “‘The ear for the story and the eye for the pattern were theirs; the feeling was theirs: we came out of this land and we are theirs’” (Silko 255). When the ceremony works, Tayo knows he is cured and so is his community. The reader now sees Tayo’s vastly developed character and his appreciation for his traditions and the mood of his

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