Maria Birri's Reviews > Ceremony

Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko
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Jan 09, 12


I would not recommend this novel. The writing of the novel was wordy, lengthy and had trouble keeping my attention most the time. The plot of the novel at times seemed scattered and did not bring as much meaning to the novel as it should have. For instance, the author mentioned in the novel how Tayo had been seduced and made love to a couple of women. This brought little significance to the novel and did not show much integrity for the different ethnicity's. In other words, it seem to have given the reader the wrong impression about the cultures.

The author, Leslie Marmon Silko, was born just after World War II. She was a mix of Laguna Pueblo Native American as well as Anglo American and Mexican American. Since Silko had exposure to these cultures it ultimately allowed her to make the differences in culture within the novel more realistic because of the spiritual influences that she incorporated. The novel had a basis of history in World War II. The main character, Tayo, had fought alongside his brother; however, the time after the war Tayo spent in mental anguish over images the war had placed in his head. After the war Tayo spent his time having the "medicine men" perform ceremonies on him to rid him of various problems he faced. Tayo was not the only one to face problems but his friends who fought in the war dealt with the post-traumatic stress through the self medication of alcohol.

The novel is very relate-able to anyone who has served in any type of war or conflict. During this time nobody can imagine the images that the soldiers must see on a day to day manner. The post-traumatic stress that Tayo and his friends experienced after the war is similar in many ways to what the soldiers in Iraq have had to experience once they return home to the United States.

The theme of the necessity of tradition in the novel can relate to any reader, rather it be a culture, family, or church tradition they may have. In the novel preserving the Native American culture was key in preventing natural disasters. Therefore, ceremonies were performed to prevent these disasters. Ceremonies were used for just about anything and everything that was needed to be changed or fixed.


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