Leslie Marmon Silko Ceremony Analysis

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Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko tells the story of a Native American whom fought in World War Two for the United States of America and his return to America after being released from a Japanese prisoner of war camp. To live in America as a Native American during WWII, would have many hardships. Silko shows the struggle of integration of Western culture on Native American society. In many ways Tayo and others of the Native American culture due to differences in religion, history and culture.

One way Silko shows this theme is through how the family members treat Tayo. Tayo is half Native American and half white. Due to Tayo’s lineage his Auntie, of who’s sister is Tayo’s mother and slept with the white man, takes the role of raising Tayo.
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Indians were seen as outsiders and savages in their own nation with no pride or respect. War has always been a place for “savages” in America to earn respect from their fellow Americans. Rocky wanted to embed himself into the white mans world and earn respect so when the opportunity to enlist came available he took it convincing Tayo to join as well. Unfortunately for Rocky he did not make it out of the war alive. Tayo however made it back alive. Tayo’s response to being used by the white man shows the difficulty of assimilation into Western Culture. “The war was over, the uniform was gone. All of a sudden that man at the store waits on you last, makes you wait until all the white people bought what they wanted” (Silko 42). Native American’s were only respected when they wore an American uniform, which showed they were willing to put their life on the line for the greater good. However when the war was over and the uniform no longer mattered, Native Americans that put their life on the line were once again treated as savages or below white Americans in Western Culture. Integration of Native Americans into a Western culture that doesn’t want Native Americans to be apart of the culture makes getting along really

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