Male and Female Principles In Silko's Ceremony

Male and Female-Both a Part of Leslie Marmon Silko's book Ceremony

Indian society defines what is positive about the male essence to be what is active in the world. However, the male protagonist Tayo of Leslie Marmon Silko's novel Ceremony, feels as if he has been denied his ability to demonstrate his manhood to the world, as an Indian brave ought to. Because of his perceived failure fighting in a white-driven war, Tayo experiences a sense of alienation from his current society, although he has finally returned to Indian life. He feels cast out of the white world for his inability to kill Japanese people, and feels cast out of the Indian world because of his sense of passivity. One ...

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being punished for those prayers, and feels unable to understand his own, native language which before he could understand perfectly.

In Indian life, the female principle, however, can also sustain the male principle of activity, even when this male principle is temporarily thwarted as it is in Tayo's soul. The contrast between the Reed woman and the Corn woman gives a story and a mythic structure to explain drought beyond personal blame for Tayo-drought and rain are the natural, cyclical parts of life. At the end of the book, Tayo is healed by a vision of a goddess. (221) She is fertile and exists in a realm of beauty. And even, in one of the strongest and darkest example of female power in the form of a witch, makes Tayo feel better about his inaction and failure in white society. Laughing at his frustration and his inability to embody white ideals in war, the witch says that Indians created whites in their own imaginations, and that whites are weak beings with no sense of ...

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Added: 8/12/2017 02:27:57 AM
Category: Book Reports
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 462
Pages: 2

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