Cultural Conflicts In Leslie Marmon Silko's Ceremony

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In Leslie Marmon Silko’s postmodern and Native American novel, Ceremony, she illustrates the gradual and painful recovery of a Laguna veteran from World War II named Tayo, the main character. Tayo goes on a difficult quest to search for a metaphorical antidote for his physical, psychological, cultural, and spiritual pain, brought upon him by the war. In doing so, Silko demonstrates cultural conflicts within his quest as Tayo encounters a society segregated by race and culture. Tayo’s quest is characterized by his post traumatic stress syndrome, which puts him through an enormous amount of uncomfortable emotions. Threw Silko’s character Tayo, she demonstrates her understanding of multi-cultural differences to illustrate the controversial conflict…show more content…
When this book was written in the 1970’s, America was going through a drastic change in culture with the help of the civil rights movement. During this time period it took a while for some Americans to adjust to the situation because they felt a little uncomfortable with all of the changes that were occurring and furthered the idea that people are afraid of change. In Silko’s novel, the people of Laguna are simply afraid of change because of the way they treated Tayo, who was known as a “half-breed” (Native American descent mixed with Caucasian). A character by the name of Night Swan, discussed with Tayo about that issue. Night Swan told Tayo with an understanding tone, “I saw the color of your eyes.” She addressed the fact that he was embarrassed because he was of a mixed ethnicity. She then explained to him that people were teasing him only because they are afraid of change. Night Swan, who also happens to be of mixed ethnicity, further explained that Tayo has nothing to worry about because mixed ethnicity is the future of society. In somewhat of a way, Tayo is superior to all non mixed individuals for the sole reason that he is a result of
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