Ceremony Emo Character Analysis

1251 Words 6 Pages
When a person is struggling with their mental instability, society is often quick to just deem them as “mad” but then refuse to look beneath the surface of their problems. For people who struggle with mental instability, pinpointing the root cause and finding the proper “cure” is integral, so that the instability will not worsen and branch out into other problems. In the book Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko, the character Emo suffers from the prolonged effects of war-induced trauma, which causes him to exhibit eccentric behavior that consists of carrying around a bag of human teeth, turning to alcoholism, and partaking in violence. Emo’s behavior can be judged as reasonable because his actions are the repercussions of the turmoil he faced during the war, and his madness as well as his character as a whole is Silko’s way of conveying that sometimes, war can have unexpected as well as unwanted repercussions on people because the turmoil that one experiences can later manifest itself into abnormal and possibly even violent behavior.
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Emo decides to take out his grotesque prize in order to show it off to Tayo and his friends, and he “poured the human teeth out on the table...he scooped them into his hand and shook them like dice. They were his war souvenirs, the teeth he had knocked out of the corpse of a Japanese soldier” (Silko, 60-61). The behavior that Emo is exhibiting is not normal; no other soldier has decided to keep a body part as a souvenir, let alone blatantly play with it. Emo’s friends find his behavior disgusting as well as disturbing, since Emo is so closely clinging to remnants of death from the war. The fact that Emo finds so much pleasure and entertainment from objects that people would normally find repulsive suggests that the trauma that he experienced in the war has manifested itself into an abnormal

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