Perhaps the most important factor in a person’s development is his or her family. Family members can shape some one’s thoughts and can make it difficult for a person to fit in one’s environment. In the novel Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko, Tayo’s auntie is an antagonistic woman who is concerned about other people’s judgment toward her and her family. Her unfriendly behavior sprang from her low self-esteem and the anger she reproached because her sister’s unruly actions.
The most evident psychological problem Tayo’s Auntie is dealing with is her lack of self-esteem. This was brought upon by her siblings’ disappointing choices. Her siblings’ brought shame to the family and the main cause for such disgrace was Auntie’s sister’s humiliating behavior. Tayo’s mom’s promiscuity dishonored the family, but it took a greater toll on Auntie; “So Auntie has tried desperately to reconcile the family with the people; the old instinct had always been to gather the feelings and opinions that were scattered through the village, to gather them like willow twigs and tie them into a single prayer bundle that would bring peace to all of them” (69). Auntie made it her duty to mend and protect the family name. She became extremely aware about what the village people had to say about her family. Auntie was worried about her family’s actions because their actions were a reflection on the whole family and that included her. In order to save herself, Auntie took Tayo in after the war because she wanted to prove to people that she was different; “But advantages wear out; she needed a new struggle, another opportunity to show those who might gossip that she had still another unfortunate burden which proved that, above all else, she was a Christian woman” (30). Auntie wanted the people of the village to feel sorry for her, so they wouldn’t remember the embarrassing past of her sister. Tayo’s Aunt didn’t like him because he was her sister’s son and he was not a full...
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