Character Analysis: The Man To Send Rain Clouds

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Love and Death 07/05/2012

In Native­American cultures, death is seen as a passing from the physical life to the spiritual life. By requesting Teofilo to send rain, this spiritual aspect of death is demonstrated in “The Man to Send Rain Clouds“, by Leslie Marmon Silko, along with cultural traditions such as face painting. Both of these actions are inspired by the Native­American culture which the main characters in the story, namely Leon and Ken are desperately trying to keep alive. In:
“The Man to Send Rain Clouds“, Silko illustrates the coalescence of cultural and religious differences between the Roman Catholic and the Native­American traditions and the adaptation to the dominant culture to keep these traditions alive. Using the efforts to conceal a
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Silko portrays ,in this passage and in others, the clash of two different cultures, namely Native and Roman catholic, and how Leon and ken are very tenacious of their own. It is also relevant that Leon called the priest Father which shows the mutual respect that they both have for each other even with their cultural and religious beliefs. Teofilo’s family were brought up in and taught to practice Native­American culture and part of their beliefs is that since Teofilo’s spirit has exited his body, he would be able to send rain. This later leads to a combination of Catholic and Native traditions in regards to funerals.
After having dug a hole for Teofilo’s burial, Leon was requested by Louise to seek

Father Paul. She said “I had been thinking about [...] the priest sprinkling holy water for grandpa so he won’t be thirsty.” and Leon replied “I’ll see if he’s there.”(Silko 1051). This is a significant dialogue because it illustrates the unification of the main characters’ Native traditions, and Father Paul’s Roman Catholic traditions. However, the purpose of
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In Leon’s view, it does not matter where
Teofilo is buried and it is not mandatory to have him buried in a graveyard, as for the holy water, the protagonist considers it as water for Teofilo so that he does not get thirsty. Leon’s
Native tradition may have been slightly modified due to the unification of Catholic and Native cultures but that did not change his beliefs.
“The man to send rain clouds” is about the Unification of two cultures and the acceptance and leniency to change. In combining both of these requirements, the protagonist is able to cope with change (to a certain extent), and follow his culture’s teachings to the fullest. The changes being: The burial in a church graveyard and the baptism at the funeral.
The fact that the main character did not want what is considered to be a proper Christian burial, shows the limitations that Leon has about leniency toward Roman Catholic traditions and tenacity toward Native­American culture. The key for this system to work is the balance of the two cultures which was portrayed from the beginning of the story to the

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