Ceremony Essay

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Herzog focuses on Silko's depiction of two aspects of gender portrayal in a Native American novel that transcends Western stereotypes-that of a male protagonist as a "feeling man" and that of a female divinity as a "thinking woman. "

Feminist literary criticism of the past decades has often pointed to powerful women figures in American literature. From Hawthorne's Hester Prynne to Alice Walker's Meridian one can find many images which counter the stereotype of the clinging, submissive, and self-sacrificing woman. By contrast, these powerful women are courageous, independent of judgment, and as intelligent as any man, without becoming egocentric or losing their sense of interpersonal relationships. Little attention has been paid, however, to male figures who are sensitive instead of ruthless, gentle instead of heroic, community-conscious instead of individualistic. It is especially important to find such images in Native American literature because in the popular imagination the American Indian...

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This section contains 1,819 words
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