Ceremony by Leslie Silko
The novel Ceremony, written by Leslie Silko deals with the actions of a Native American youth after fighting, and being held captive during World War II. The young mans name is Tayo and upon returning to the U.S., and eventually reservation life he has many feelings of estrangement and apathy towards society. The novel discusses many topics pertaining to Native Americans, through the eyes of Tayo and a few female characters. The novel is one that you must decide for yourself what you believe, and why certain ideas or characters points of view are important.
When reading the novel Ceremony, you must decide what you actually believe, and what situations were only figments of Tayo's stressed mind. Many of these situations occur throughout the book, some are very clear and others have hidden meanings. On a whole I believed what Tayo had to say about the world from his shoes. There are certain instinces that I know what Tayo is seeing is completely impossible.
In Ceremony one must decide why and how the women's perspective is of importance. I believe the reason the women's view is to put a different perspective upon everything that goes on in the book, as compared with the perspective of Tayo. There are two women in the book who put their perspective into the story, one of them is the elderly mistress of Josiah and the other one is Helen Jean who went on one of the many joyrides that Harley and the others went on. These women are actually just a way for the author to explain how the rest of society viewed Tayo. An example of this is when Helen Jean describes Tayo "Too quiet, and not very friendly(161)". Another thing this allows the author to do is to show how the War affected the young women from the reservations. She is able to show you how Helen Jeans life was in just a few pages. Silko was able to show how the Native American war veterans looked to anyone who happened to look upon them, but that wasn't one of them. The...
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