Lullaby Essay

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Madsen Hardy has a doctorate in English literature and is a freelance writer and editor. In the following essay, she discusses the relationship between language and power in Silko's story "Lullaby."

In Leslie Marmon Silko's lyrical short story "Lullaby," Ayah, an aged Navajo woman, reflects back on her life as she trudges through a snowstorm to retrieve her husband Chato from the bar where he is drinking away their monthly welfare check. Silko's writing balances tragedy against beauty; loss and bitterness scar Ayah's life, but she is sustained by a spiritual connection with nature and its cycles of generational continuity. In "Lullaby," as in many of her works, Silko celebrates the strength of Native American cultures through mixing genres and including aspects of traditional oral forms in her writing. "One of Silko's purposes . . . is to stress the continuity of her literary work with the oral tradition that...

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This section contains 1,591 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Lullaby Study Guide
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Lullaby from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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