Just like in most Native American cultures, Leslie Marmon Silko’s “Ceremony” explores storytelling as a vital spiritual component.
Storytelling is an efficient method of connecting the present and the past, providing moral guidance with respect to life, and a reliable source of entertainment (Silko 305). The author delineates the impact of narrating in his locale and weaves the segments of the customary craft of narrating in Native America to give an exciting and fascinating contemporary epic that trains and instructs the target audiences about the most ideal approaches to recuperate the feeble world.
The poem narratives are exceptionally interspersed through Tayo’s war return episodes and the dedication to build a new ceremony. The specific lessons featured in the narratives examines how Tayo continues to search for healing and helps the audience to analyze the various epics that guides the education system, the spiritual life, and the day to day actions amongst the local communities featured in Silko’s narrative (305). The author points out the old narratives using the broken lines that mimic wise words of poetry compared to the prose that comprises most parts of the literary work. Silko also looks beyond the chronological storytelling in the poem-stories and succeeds to weave the various epics together and still provides a brief overview of how each narrative connects or influences one another.
An interesting story should demonstrate the narrator’s ability to communicate something both metaphorically and literary. Metaphorical communication is evident when a community decides to align with and act as per the ideas provided in a specific narrative. Literal communication is evident in the epic of a Native American witch who brings whites into existence (306). The storyteller must also take the time to select the ideal words to be used in the epic to boost the spiritual healing element. Silko succeeds to demonstrate the intensity of his stories by expertly and deliberately using the narratives of several distinct Native American communities.
The “Ceremony” is a very important and influential narrative in the storytelling tradition in Native America. As the main protagonist and the narrator of his personal narrative, Tayo draws remarkable inspiration and comfort from the past thrilling and educative stories in Native America. The Navajo medicine man, Betonie shares stories that illustrate the path Tayo takes to reconcile with his unfortunate past and his quest to build a new and a promising future (306). Another epic about Hummingbird and Fly’s trials to terminate the drought reflects the journey taken by Tayo to heal his spiritual drought. Additionally, words from the traditional poem-narratives are shared by a section of other characters in strategic prose moment but only when Tayo is in direr need of new strength.
Silko succeeds in making Tayo an integral component of the exceptional storytelling cosmology that provides him with renewed strength (307). In the entire narrative, Tayo is presented as a form of living narrative, which passes the storytelling tradition but still manages to add the modern-day dilemmas and situations. Tayo’s epic as documented in the “Ceremony” functions as a guide for other storytellers in Native America who wishes to achieve similar objectives in the future. Tayo strived to strike a balance in life by first listening to the stories and learning how to live a blameless life by respecting different cultures and the Earth. In essence, storytelling in Silko’s novel refers to both the ancient storytelling tradition in Native America and the typical process of storytelling.
Work Cited Silko, Leslie Marmon. "Ceremony (1977)." American Religious History, 2002, pp. 305-307.
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