Sexualization In Ceremony Analysis

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In the post-war era, many identities were shifting dramatically. One that perhaps changed the most was the conception of women’s identity. Women all over America left their homes to work during the war. Afterwards, they found they didn’t want to give up their newfound freedom and economical success. The women in these novels faced specific challenges to their identities due to the cultural context and time that they were placed in. These challenges also reflect pieces of a larger change in society’s structuring of feminine life. The shift made many everyday appearances – disrupting the fabric of normal tasks and habits. Many such manifestations can be seen throughout these stories. One aspect of female identity that was shaken was the sexualization…show more content…
The book centers at one point on Tayo’s mother’s experience as she changed so that “her dress, her lipstick, her hair - it was all done perfectly…. exactly like the white girls” (pg.69). She felt an enormous pressure to conform to white culture due to the shaming of Indian tradition that took place in the new public schools. Just as Tayo came home killing off all the flies one day, his mother came home from school and destroyed everything she had been taught to be ashamed of. This was done because she was “excited to see that…the white men smiled at her from their cars as she walked” (pg. 68). But she also laments their “greedy feeble love-making” and the “truth” she can “feel…in their fists” (pg. 69). Similarly to Emo’s stories in the bar, it was just a game to “see how good [he’d] score with each one” (pg. 58); all to gain a “reputation” (pg. 59). Sexual encounters were no longer natural and spiritual happenings, it was just a game for the white man- one more thing he could conquer in the land he had claimed for himself. After they had made her so ashamed of her own culture and heritage, she craved affirmation from them. Shifting into their culture and making herself look acceptable in their eyes was a way to gain approval. But it cost her own heritage and culture, and she grew to regret

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