The Culture Connection to Mind, Body, and Spirit in Leslie Silko´s Ceremony

The Culture Connection to Mind, Body, and Spirit in Leslie Silko´s Ceremony

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Life is a sequence of events that causes change in an individual. These series of events include both the good and the bad times in an individual’s life. The thing that defines someone's character not what has happened in their life but how that person responded to the events. In the Lesile Silko's novel Ceremony, the protagonist, Tayo, experiences a string of unfortunate events in his life that damaged his character both physically and figuratively. Tayo is a Native American World War II veteran that experiences hardship when he returns home. Tayo is lost in an internal struggle within himself that causes heartache not only in him but in his community. Tayo believes because of the actions he undertook while at war in the Philippines have no only affected him internally but through the Native American beliefs, he believes he affected his entire community. Tayo comes to the realization that in order to save both himself and the rest of the Indians he must cleanse himself from the misdeeds he has committed. Ceremony focuses in on the role that mind, body, and spirit all play in an individual’s character and well-being. The scars of war and the burdens that Tayo has endured throughout his life cause detrition of those three aspects. In order for Tayo to save both his community and himself he must undergo a ceremony that will restore these three aspects by healing the scars that he obtained during the war and by reconnecting his spirit with his culture.
The gruesome events that occurred during World War II will forever haunt Tayo’s soul. Both Tayo and his cousin, Rocky, were enlisted at the same time to join the war effort. From the Indian reservation, Tayo and Rocky were deployed to fight in the American warfare against the Japanese...


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...n story that occurs at the end of the novel. Throughout the novel there are snippets of ancient tales of Tayo’s people and in the novel they appear to parallel Tayo’s story. In the story of the Humming bird the rain returns to the land so it’s assumed that the rain returns to the land.
Ceremony focuses in on the role that mind, body, and spirit all play in an individual’s character and well-being. The scars of war and the burdens that Tayo has endured throughout his life cause detrition of those three aspects. This has not only affected him, it affects his community for he has cursed the rain on his land. In order for Tayo to save both his community and himself he must end the polarization of the white and Indian worlds that he was conditioned to believe in. His ceremony utilizes culture to heal the mind, body and spirit and to connect to the two polarized worlds.

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