Analysis Of The Man To Send Rain Clouds

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The short story “The Man to Send Rain Clouds” by Leslie Marmon Silko is a deceptively simple narrative about the death and funeral of an old man of the Laguna Pueblo tribe of Native Americans. Set in the desert southwest of the United States, the story is narrated from an omniscient point of view, and describes the discovery of the old man’s body, the preparation of the body for burial, and the interaction between the family of the dead man and the Catholic priest who lives on the reservation. The author uses very simple language and unsophisticated descriptions to describe an intricate and complex relationship between the Christian culture of the priest and the religious culture of the Pueblo culture. Descriptions of the bleak landscape…show more content…
As they are wrapping up Teofilo’s corpse, Leon ties a gray feather in the old man’s hair with a piece of twine. Ken hands him paint and he decorates the old man’s face with stripes of white, blue, yellow and green stripes. Leon tosses pinches of cornmeal and pollen into the air. The narrator does not describe the significance of these actions, but it is obvious that these are ritualistic activities that have to do with funeral rites. The men wrap the corpse in a red blanket and carry it up to their truck. At this point the reader becomes aware that the men must have anticipated that Teofilo was dead when they went out to the sheep encampment. Why else would they have brought the paint, cornmeal, pollen, and red blanket? The men appear to be filling their parts in a predetermined drama. Before placing the blanket-wrapped body in the back of the truck, Leon addresses Teofilo’s corpse: “Bring us rain clouds, Grandfather.” (Silko, p. 358).
On their way home, the men encounter the local priest, Father Paul. The priest asks them if they have located Teofilo, and they demur, telling him only that everything is fine at the camp. The priest interprets this to mean that Teofilio is well, and he tells them that the old man is too frail to be left at the sheep camp alone. The men assure him that they won’t be doing that again, and the priest and the men part. The priest believes that they have
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