Ceremony With A Postmodern Twist Essay

1991 Words Dec 11th, 2016 8 Pages
Ceremony with a Postmodern Twist
Leslie Marmon Silko’s Ceremony provides a glimpse into the life of one half Laguna/half white man’s life and his search for identity before, during, and after World War II. Tayo, the protagonist, remembers something of life with his Laguna mother and knows nothing about his white father. He was raised by his mother’s family, attended a Bureau of Indian Affairs boarding school, fought in World War II as a member of the US Army, was treated for battle fatigue in a Veterans Administration hospital, and attempts to discover who he is after returning to the reservation. Silko employs the postmodernistic techniques of using intertextual elements, presenting the story in a nonlinear fashion, revisiting history ironically, and challenging homogeneous identity to tell the story of Tayo’s fragmented identity and his journey toward wholeness.
A short discussion of postmodernism is in order because that literary theory is often considered confusing as Frank L. Cioffi’s question to Ihab Hassan shows: “are you also confused…by Postmodernism?” (Cioffi 43). Hassan’s answer is that he accepts “the instability of the term…I accept its labile, sifting, conflictual character” (Cioffi 43). Postmodernism is often defined by listing what modernism theory encompasses and explaining how postmodernism is different from modernism. Linda Hutcheon defines postmodernism as “fundamentally contradictory, resolutely historical, and inescapably political” (4). The reader will…

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