Essay about Analysis Of Leslie Marmon Silko 's Ceremony, Emo

1232 Words May 9th, 2016 5 Pages
The suppression of other cultures under the dominant Western society in the United States is a common undercurrent of American history. White oppression causes various reactions within the Native American community, ranging from acceptance of assimilation to violent resistance. In Leslie Marmon Silko’s Ceremony, Emo, the direct antagonist to Tayo, represents the idea of adopting the morally controversial ideas of white culture, and his actions are the product of the Western civilization’s belittlement of Native American beliefs.
The insensitivity and disgusting brutality of Emo is evident even in his youth. As a teenager, he “went into the old man’s field to look at the melons... and brought his boot down hard on the center of the melon” (56). This needless destruction and the immediate trampling of the “tiny black ants” shows Emo’s disregard of life. Native American culture, however, prizes every life form no matter how seemingly insignificant, as Betonie teaches Tayo about how insects even as tiny as a fly are important to the circle of life. Emo also disregards human life, as he continually takes out a bag while at the bar and shakes it. Later in the narrative, he reveals the contents are “the teeth he knocked out of the corpse of a Japanese soldier” (56). While the proper Native American approach to death is one of respect, Emo treats the death of the soldier like a joke, and takes the teeth like a souvenir, even bragging about how he was able to acquire them, when human…

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