Talking God Themes

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Respect for traditional Navajo culture is a powerful theme in Talking Gods. Author Tony Hillerman does not portray Indians as backwards, undeveloped or ignorant. Instead, he acknowledges the validity of the Navajo system of beliefs, and celebrates its strengths. Hillerman does not denigrate other cultures, but he emphasizes Navajo mythology, social patterns and traditions.

The novel touches briefly on many different aspects of Navajo culture, without going into any in depth. Patience is valued, and time spent waiting is time spent living, not wasted time. There is a strong need for order and harmony, and a respect for agreement. Every Navajo belongs to two clans, the father's and the more important mother's clan. Clan members feel an obligation to care for each other, including sharing money and lending possessions. In fact, this propensity to take turns using possessions that are shared by all leads to...

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This section contains 1,321 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Talking God Study Guide
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