Introduction: Ceremony is a novel written by Leslie Marmon Silko. Itdeals with the gender roles of three women are significant to thedevelopment of a character namedd Tayo who is half-white andhalf-Indian. These three women are Tayo’s birth mother, Auntie, andOld Grandma.
His mother left him when he was four years old and thatbegan his sense of emptiness and abandonment. She could not bear toraise a child that brought the reservation shame by her mistake. Summary: Auntie raised Tayo and was the mother figure he lacked.She had no problem accepting to take him, but only to “conceal theshame of her younger sister”.
Auntie was always hesitant toward Tayoas he was not her real son and was also a half-breed. For Tayo, thisonly added to his feeling of displacement and emptiness. She wouldgive her affection and attention to her real son Rocky, but would letAfter the war Auntie nursed him because he was all she had left afterRocky got killed.
He would wake up crying after dreaming about howmuch Josiah had loved him and always hugged him when he was alittlt child . Now he realized that there was no place left for him and hewould never find peace. Auntie may have been a mother figure to him,but to Tayo she was just someone who looked after him. Old Grandma, unlike Auntie, does accept Tayo and wants what is bestfor him. When Auntie rejected the idea of a medicine doctor becausehe’s not “full blood”, Old Grandma got angry and said that he was hergrandson and why should she care what they say anyway.
She hasbeen around for many years and doesn’t worry about what other peoplewill say about Tayo or about their family. The significance of Montano to the novel, Ceremony is very powerfuland vital to the recovery of Tayo. She lives up in the rim rock and is intouch with the earth and her surroundings in every way. Being tornbetween the white world and the Indian world is what leaves Tayofeeling invisible and hollow inside. Montano helps him to becomemore in touch with his Indian side and to feel the strength and powerShe teaches him the importance of certain plants, flowers, andceremonies and how they are significant to Indian culture and survival.Tayo falls in love with her, and through his love, he begins to feel aliveagain.
He realizes that he does have a place and that he is not invisibleto everyone and to his surroundings. When he is not with her, insteadof the nightmares, she fills his dreams. He woke up one night andthought about the overpowering love he felt for her.
He shed “tearsfilled his eyes and the ache in his throat ran deep into his chest.” Tayo no longer feels like a walking shadow, but finally a real personwith feelings and emotions. It is through Montano that he discovershimself and ultimately is able to deal with being a half-breed in achanging world. When she finally leaves him, he is able to go on livingand remembering all that she taught him.
Conclusion: I really enjoyed this story. It was a great portrayal of howfamily might mistreat you just because you are a little different thanthem. Sometimes people cant deal with the fact that a family memberis only half of the race that they are. I would definitely recommend thisbook to others, especially to anyone who feels that they are secludedand have no friends just because they are bi-racial.Bibliography: