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The Theme of Silko's Ceremony Essay

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Knowing Oneself, Knows the World

The colonization of civilizations has changed the world’s history forever. From the French, Spaniard, and down to the English, have changed cultures, traditions, religions, and livelihoods of other societies. The Native Americans, for example, were one of the many civilizations that were conquered by the English. The result was their ways of life based on nature changed into the more “civilized” ways of the colonists of the English people. Many Native Americans have lost their old ways and were pulled into the new “civilized” ways. Today only a small amount of Native American nations or tribes exist in remote areas surviving following their traditions. In the book Ceremony, a story of a man named
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In addition to his external struggle in finding his true definition, Tayo also faced internal conflicts because of his uncertainty of himself. Belonging to two different race categories was only the beginning of his struggles because “he wasn’t sure any more what to believe… He wasn’t sure.” His Native American side showed enthusiasm for learning its ways but his minimal knowledge of it would turn into hesitance and he is unable to practice it. Old Betonie, a medicine man who also was not full-blooded Native American, was one of Tayo’s ways of finding out his roots but all he thought about with the first sight of the medicine man was to run away. As old Betonie pointed out, “If you don’t trust me, you better keep going… Anyway I couldn’t help anyone who was afraid of me.” He mistrusted the “half-breed” person that can teach him the right way to live, not as a Native American or a Caucasian alone, but as a human being. However, Tayo’s mistrust and ignorance pulled him into a deeper confusion of he was because he would rather in a hospital where he was, “invisible…(and) wasn’t afraid” because he “didn’t feel things sneaking up behind,” him. Although Tayo did not realize that denying the guidance offered by old Betonie will help him unlock his true essence. However, the truth is difficult to accept and takes time to be understood therefore, Tayo is no different. His comprehension for old Betonie’s talk about the “ceremony” was not being established because
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