Ceremony

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There are many characters in the novel Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko that have their each personal and unique story behind them. Rocky, Tayo, Robert, Josiah, and Grandma are some characters who have different stories. One character who has a very interesting and unique story is Auntie. Auntie’s story is about her sacrifice for others and the burden she takes from her sister, Laura’s mistakes.

Auntie had lived a rough life from her childhood and adolescent stage. Growing up she had a sister named Laura who was a young teenager that was a prostitute. Like any other sibling, Auntie was very ashamed of that. Auntie would constantly hear trash-talking among the villagers about Laura’s lifestyle and Auntie took it offensively since it was her sister. To make matters worse, Laura got pregnant from a white man. Laura eventually gave birth to young mixed-blood boy named Tayo. Auntie immediately took control of the boy to hide him from the shame of having a mother that is a whore. This large cloud of shame that Laura brought upon her family would last long enough for Tayo to realize who his mother was. Taking in Tayo would be this reminder to Auntie of who her sister was. Every time she would look at Tayo she would think of what a disgusting and careless person Laura was. Auntie would always hang her head in shame

knowing that even though her sister is gone, with having Tayo live with her, there is still something that will always make Auntie feel ashamed until the day she dies. In essence Auntie gave up her whole adulthood and future to pay for all the sins that her family had committed.

Knowing all that Auntie had given up she feels like someone owes her something in return. There is nothing that anybody can give her that can be equivalent to all the years the sacrificed to raise Tayo. Auntie was always trapped inside a little bubble which she hasn’t been able to escape from yet. She has been suffering this whole time. She never had the privileges of freedom...
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