Short Response: Ceremony

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Question: What does ceremony symbolize in the book? Is the trauma of Tayo resulted more from the war or the exclusion by his family/white culture? Why didn’t Tayo kill that soldier? Why does Auntie exclude Tayo for his mixed racial identity and why does Rocky seemingly lean towards white culture? Does Tayo actually get healed from being traumatized after he completes the ceremony? What advantages does Betonie have to guide Tayo through the ceremony? Theme: Returning from the battlefield. Tayo got traumatized by both the destruction during war and his struggle with his dual racial identity. Guided by Betonie, he learnt to take pride in his dual racial identity by recognizing aspects from both Laguna Pueblo and Euro-American cultures through the completion of ceremony, which began to heal him from the trauma resulted from both the war and not belonging to either culture. Passage: “The Mexican cattle settled down and moved more slowly, but they still had little regard for fences. They watered and grazed at the Canoncito windmill for a few days before they started traveling again. It was simple to keep track of them because they were always moving south. By the end of May they were all the way to the flats by Fernando’s place; but they still ran if the men on horseback tried to get close; and if they were pushed into a corner where fences intersected, they lunged through the wire without hesitation and trotted away to a safe distance, where they stood in a semicircle to watch the horsemen.” (73) Interpretation: Mexican cattle along the ceremony has quite similar racial and spiritual identities to the main character, Tayo. “They still had little regard for fences.” The cattle cannot be fenced in, always pursuing for their freedom. Tayo wants freedom. They both are mixed-blood and wild, willing to be free. As in the quote, “they watered and grazed…before
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