Ceremony Essay

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Pre-AP English
“Ceremony- Rewrite”
3rd Semester B
September 25th, 2012

Tradition is the illusion of permanence. It defines who people are and gives them a place in their community; it is an expression of belonging and individuality at the same time. In Ceremony, Leslie Marmon Silko exposes throughout the novel many Native American characters. Some follow the traditions and others are ashamed of them. Silko expresses that only the ones that follow them are the ones that find themselves. They know who they are and are stronger and wiser. Because of this, they are the ones that will survive in this horrible modern world.

Tayo is a boy that is proud of his origins and follows the traditions of his tribe. Rocky, on the contrary, tries to avoid the traditions and follow the white ways. Consequently, he thinks it will give him an advantage. He considers that white people are better. Both boys are influenced by their family and events that occur during their childhood. Both Rocky’s parents are Native Americans. Auntie, his mother, is one of the most negative characters in the novel. She does not follow the morals of the Native Americans; she is instead Christian and is close-minded. She influences Rocky to the white ways; she is the one that tries to make everything possible for Rocky’s success as a white. She even takes him to white school. “You drink like an Indian, and you’re crazy like one too—but you aren´t shit, white trash. You love the Japs the way your mother loved to screw white men.” Tayo is the child of a Native American woman and an uncertain white father. Tayo is bullied by this all the time since he was young. In school, he said “Mexican eyes, the other kids used to tease me.” Tayo’s mother name is Laura. Laura was confused with the mixing of both cultures and ends up being ashamed of both. In addition she becomes an alcoholic and abandons Tayo. People assault Tayo for looking different. They accuse him of thinking he is better because he is...
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