Silko Ceremony Analysis

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Resisting Evil’s Temptations Witchery. Ck’o’yo Magic. Evil. The biggest distraction that influenced Tayo in Ceremony, a novel by Leslie Marmon Silko about a veteran who tries to cure himself from his mental anguish after returning home from World War II. On his quest for his identity, external and internal evil distracts him. Silko argues that one must recognize, overcome, and rise above evil in order to live a peaceful and better life. Silko initially encourages the readers to think about Tayo’s ceremony in at least three separate parts as Tayo makes sense of his experience by reflecting upon it three separate times. In one instance, Betonie’s uses witchery in order to perform a ritual of sand painting and blood-letting and she mimics…show more content…
Later, Harley and Leroy are found dead after the pickup truck goes off the road. Pinkie is killed later when Emo accidentally shoots him. In this instance, Emo is the evil that attempts to influence Tayo. Ceremony then ends with a quote from Old Grandma, “I must be getting old because the goings-on around Laguna don’t get me excited any more. It seems like I already heard these stories before.. only thing is, the names sound different.”(242). This is followed by another poem about witchery. From the very first interactions whites had with Native Americans they were tragically viewed as inferior to whites. For generations after that, some Native Americans began to view themselves inferior to white, Tayo and his friends as well. This culture of inferiority led many young Native American men down the road of alcoholism to an untimely death. Instead of bettering themselves, they subject to drinking and end up dead just like many men before them. Witchery also haunts Tayo and his friends like a shadow and caused the beating of Harley. Tayo thought to himself, “The witchery would work so the people would be fooled into blaming only the whites and not the witchery.. The old priests would be afraid too, and cling to traditions they always had before, the way they still made new Buffalo Dance songs every year”(231). His visit to Ku’oosh’s…show more content…
Emo’s words has affected him internally while witchery had affected him externally. Nevertheless, Tayo has recognized his mental anguish as well as the other distractions, he overcame it, and rose above it. He is now capable to live a more peaceful and grounded
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