Myth In Leslie Marmon Silko's 'Ceremony'

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Madilyn Rehr Mr. Krueger CIS Introduction to Literature September 28, 2015 Ceremony “Okay you win; take the prize, but what you said just now- it isn’t so funny It doesn’t sound so good. We are doing okay without it we can get along without that kind of thing. Take it back. Call the story back.” -From the Destroyer’s myth in Ceremony (pg. 138) Leslie Marmon Silko’s Ceremony is a novel about tradition. It is impossible, however, to understand those traditions and their importance to the novel without becoming aware of specific characters’ roles. It is also impossible to understand the meaning and scope of Tayo’s positive growth and the negative growth of Emo and Rocky without digging deeper into the meanings of the traditions and myths that…show more content…
In the novel, Silko uses myths to more thoroughly explain Tayo’s healing process and the stages he is going through. These myths are also a part of tradition. The most apparent myth that relates most directly to Tayo is the Hummingbird myth. The first obvious connection in this myth is how the Hummingbird goes through a ceremony of its own. For example, after visiting Mother they were headed to visit Buzzard. This time “They took more pollen, more beads, and more prayer sticks, and they went to see old Buzzard. They arrived at his place in the east. ‘Who’s there? Nobody ever came here before.’ ‘It is us, Hummingbird and Fly.’ ‘Oh. What do you want to know?’ ‘We need you to purify our town.’ ‘Well, look here. Your offering isn’t complete. Where’s the tobacco?” (You see it wasn’t easy)”…show more content…
“’Go back now and tell them I’ll purify the town.’ And he did” (pg. 255). Even when he believed he’d kill Emo, he didn’t as it says, “...there was nothing left but broken bottles and a black mark on the ground where the fire had been” (pg. 254). Tayo, like the Hummingbird, continued the ceremony even when things were “not easy” or “complicated”. Tayo, through the use of traditions and myth is able to come back to being himself and fights the urge to kill Emo because he made the realization that by killing him he would not only be ruining the ceremony but that “There was no way the destroyers could lose: either way they had a victim and a corpse” (pg. 251). This allows Tayo to finish the ceremony and resist his desire to kill Emo. Through his focus and the traditions he grew up with hearing from Josiah and grandma he is able to remember the way life is supposed to be and follow the traditions and myths to heal

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