They fear the world.
They destroy what they fear.
They fear themselves."
"They will kill the things they fear
all the animals
the people will starve."
"They will fear what they find
They will fear the people
They kill what they fear" (Silko 136).
Leslie Marmon Silko uses these three short passages taken from an ancient Indian story included in the novel Ceremony to express and convey the idea that the white man’s fear was the primary factor contributing to their negative actions toward the Indian people. The ancient Indian story that the passages are pulled from also explains how Indian witchery led to the invention of the white people and all the evil inside of them, causing them to destroy the world and everything else that inhabits it.
When the wind blew the white people across the ocean, thousands of them in giant boats (Silko 136), they were faced with the unfamiliar culture of the Indian people. Besides the fact that the Indians were in their way of expansion and development, the white man feared what they found. They feared an unknown language that they had never heard before and could not understand. They feared rituals and ceremonies that seemed strange and suspicious. They feared a social unity of sharing and togetherness that they found alarming and intimidating.
The Indians woke up one morning to find that the lands they once belonged to were no longer theirs. The deeds and papers said the land now belonged to the white folk. It was taken away from them by sheer physical force, stolen, and they were sent away to live on reservations. Tayo was a part of the Laguna Pueblo reservation.
As a young kid on the Laguna Pueblo reservation, Tayo and the other children were sent away to white schools, and it was mandatory that they did not speak in their native tongue or take part in any of their old ways. The teachers told them to forget what they had learned back on the reservation, that they had no reason to believe the superstitious stories any more. Now they should believe in books and science because they explained the causes and effects (Silko 94). The white man feared the different culture of the Indians, and they wanted the Indians to forget their past so they could easily influence them and make them conform to the ...
... middle of paper ...
...terests and defend themselves. They built up their arsenal with guns, bombs and missiles. Eventually they developed what would be the most dangerous and devastating weapon on the face of the earth, the atomic bomb. Top scientists and experts in the field of nuclear fusion met together in top-secret laboratories deep in the Jemez Mountains, on land the Government took from the Cochiti Pueblo, and created the highly sophisticated nuclear weapon (Silko 246).
In these hills
They will find the rocks,
Rocks with veins of green and yellow and black.
They will lay the final pattern with these rocks
They will lay it across the world
And explode everything" (Silko 137).
In order for Tayo to complete his ceremony he ironically had to use an ore rock, streaked with powdery yellow uranium (Silko 246). Uranium was a main component used to make the atomic bomb. When the atomic bomb explodes it kills all life forms in its path, leaving radioactive waste to ensure there will no longer be life. If the Indian story is true, a nuclear war will be the human event to end all human events.
Silko, Leslie Marmon. Ceremony. New York: Penguin Books, 1986.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- In Ceremony, Leslie Silko brilliantly crosses racial styles of humor in order to cure the foolish delusions readers may have, if we think we are superior to Indians or inferior to whites, or perhaps superior to whites or inferior to Indians. Silko plays off affectionate Pueblo humor against the black humor so prominent in 20th-century white culture. This comic strategy has the end-result of opening our eyes to our general foolishness, and also to the possibility of combining the merits of all races.... [tags: Ceremony Essays]
2125 words (6.1 pages)
- Silko's Ceremony and the Hermeneutic Circle Ceremony is a novel meant to change us. It is a story, which instructs and enlightens, but it is also a tool for relating. It is useful in an extremely practical sense: It teaches us about being connected to our world, about difference and the other. These are only a couple of the possible tangible effects the book has on readers, and truly, the limiting factor in the number of possible uses for Ceremony is simply the number of individuals who read it.... [tags: Silko Ceremony]
2009 words (5.7 pages)
- The Value of Narrative in Ceremony The story is the most powerful and most compelling form of human expression in Leslie Marmon Silko's novel Ceremony. Stories reside within every part of every thing; they are essentially organic. Stories are embedded with the potential to express the sublime strength of humanity as well as the dark heart and hunger for self destruction. The process of creating and interpreting stories is an ancient, ongoing, arduous, entangled, but ultimately rewarding experience.... [tags: Ceremony Essays]
808 words (2.3 pages)
- The novel Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko follows a young man, Tayo through his journey beginning when he returns home to the Laguna Pueblo Reservation, from World War Two; and is very ill. During the narrative Silko introduces us to Tayo's life before the war, which gives insight to reasons of why Tayo is ill. Through out his illness Tayo goes through many ceremonies both literally and metaphorically to try to cure his ailment. One of the ceremonies that is performed, is lead by Old Ku'oosh, the medicine man, where he performs a cleansing ceremony for someone who has killed someone in battle, even though Tayo doesn't recall killing anyone.... [tags: Ceremony Leslie Silko]
1660 words (4.7 pages)
- Leslie Marmon Silko's Ceremony Over the years, after wars and famine, peace-time and floods, few things have persisted to survive. Society, art, and other intangible objects as these are survivors of two millennia of human “progress”. Intelligent concepts and premises have also survived, as have emotions and morals. Even as these outstanding examples of humanity have survived, so have some less affirmative ideals lived on through our fore-bearers. Cultural, ideological, religious, and political supremacy are still abound today, as much as they were 50, 100, and even 5,000 years ago.... [tags: Leslie Marmon Silko Ceremony Racism Essays]
1781 words (5.1 pages)
- Cultural Healing in Ceremony Leslie Marmon Silko is a Native American from New Mexico and is part of the Laguna tribe. She received a MacArthur "genius" award and was considered one of the 135 most significant women writers ever. Her home state has named her a living cultural treasure. (Jaskoski, 1) Her well-known novel Ceremony follows a half-breed named Tayo through his realization and healing process that he desperately needs when he returns from the horrors of World War II. This is a process that takes him back to the history of his culture. Tayo returns home when World War II ends in 1945. He feels alienated from his home and hardly desires to live any lo... [tags: Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony]
2481 words (7.1 pages)
- “I, take you, to be my lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part.” From a young age, girls think about the perfect wedding- everything from the perfect dress to the color scheme, venue design and the cake. Every girl aspires to have the perfect wedding including a perfect balance between her modern ideas and her family’s culture and traditions.... [tags: Literary Review]
2590 words (7.4 pages)
- Oremus: Absolve, quaesumus, Domine, animas famulorum famularumque tuarum et omnium fide-lium defunctorum, ab omni vinculo delictorum… It was a bleak fall morning when Sam Louis was entombed at Woodlawn cemetery. The sky was filled with tears and the firmament exploded with rumblings of thunder and lighting. Despite the foul weather, a lone crow was hovering in a circle high above the funeral gathering. No one was aware of its presence until it began to caw. Deborah Hernandez glanced up and instantly felt a cold fear gripping her heart.... [tags: Creative Writing Essay]
882 words (2.5 pages)
- The Coronation Ceremony The earliest accounts of a coronation ceremony in England date back to around the 750ís A.D. Spanning the last thousand years, the English coronation ceremony has remained almost unchanged. During the fourteenth century, the kings of England were crowned in a lavish and complicated ceremony involving special clothes, rituals and oaths. These aspects of the ritual displayed, in some ways, the chivalric mindset of the times when the coronation process was first being developed to its fullest meaning and formality.... [tags: Essays Papers]
889 words (2.5 pages)
- FEAR=DESTRUCTION "They fear They fear the world. They destroy what they fear. They fear themselves." "They will kill the things they fear all the animals the people will starve." "They will fear what they find They will fear the people They kill what they fear" (Silko 136). 	Leslie Marmon Silko uses these three short passages taken from an ancient Indian story included in the novel Ceremony to express and convey the idea that the white man’s fear was the primary factor contributing to their negative actions toward the Indian people.... [tags: essays research papers fc]
1101 words (3.1 pages)