Ceremony Essay

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Bennett is a graduate student in English at the University of California at Santa Barbara. In the following essay, he analyzes how Leslie Marmon Silko's novel, Ceremony, uses Native American cultural traditions and an environmentalist land ethic to create a revisionist critique of American politics and history.

The central conflict of Leslie Marmon Silko's Ceremony is Tayo's struggle to gain psychological wholeness in the face of various traumatic experiences, ranging from a troubled childhood to cultural marginalization and combat experiences during World War II. Throughout the novel, the key to Tayo's psychological recovery is his rediscovery of Native American cultural practices.

Most of the crucial turning points in the novel occur when Tayo listens to, takes part in, or learns more about Native American cultural traditions. He progresses towards recovery when he visits medicine men, returns to traditional customs and practices, or develops an intimate relationship with someone...

(read more from the Critical Essay #1 section)

This section contains 1,733 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Ceremony Study Guide
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