Leslie Marmon Silko Ceremony Analysis

Decent Essays
In Leslie Marmon Silko’s Ceremony, Tayo, the novel’s protagonist, describes the instance before his brother, Rocky, died by stating that “the wind swept down … [and whipped] the rain into gray waves that blinded him” (11). The ability of the wind to blind Tayo demonstrates its powerful abilities to distort and individual’s perception. Furthermore, Rocky’s death is a moment that disturbs Tayo throughout the entirety of the novel and can be perceived as one of the main factors that caused his illness. The presence of wind in this moment implies that the wind plays a role in the actions of witchery. Witchery refers to the powers of evil created by the Native Americans that are attempting to destroy the world by creating a division between…show more content…
When Harley and Tayo first meet in the novel, Tayo has been sent the ranch due to his sickness. As Tayo describes his sickness he recounts dreams where “the fever voices would drift and whirl and emerge again” (5). The “whirl” within Tayo’s dreams is similar to the whirling wind used to bring witchery into the world. Moreover, as Harley arrives at Tayo’s ranch to bring him to the bar, Tayo is sitting under a tree and believes that “the wind [is] getting stronger” (19). The winds’ growing strength parallels the growing power of the sickness inside Tayo. Furthermore, as Harley and Tayo are on their way to meet the other veterans the winds are so strong that it reminds Tayo of a phrase Josiah had said concerning the relationship between animals and the wind. Josiah believed that rather than resisting the animals submitted to the will of the wind and when they died it was because “the wind [had] convinced them they were ice” (24). The winds ability to kill animals demonstrates the power wind possess to coerce beings to its will. Moreover, the animals blindly following the wind parallels Tayo’s acquiesce to his own illness. Likewise, had Tayo failed to complete his ceremony the sickness would likely have overcome him and turned him to “ice” as well. Additionally, other factors, such as the forced distance between races, encouraged Tayo to submit to the powerful urging of the
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