Ceremony

A Square of Light: Depicting Tayo's Consciousness College

Tayo, the protagonist of Ceremony, lives in more than just one reality; he lives in worlds that exist once you begin to feel their touch on your skin. Worlds where nightmares occur while you’re awake, people and animals that say and do things you see and hear, but nobody else does. He inhabits a world where all you have left of everyone else’s reality is a patch of sunlight: a world where it’s hard for him decipher what is “real”and what he is feeling and experiencing, all while others call him crazy.

Throughout Ceremony, Leslie Marmon Silko brings forth Tayo’s experience that every reader will find both emotionally harrowing and emotionally authentic. Tayo, a man of Laguna and white blood, was born into one world where he is taught to act and be a certain way by western society; a world where dead bodies, gunshots and the betrayal of war is present. When Tayo returns from World War II he enters another world where all of his physical experienced realities, spiritual realities and recurrent traumatic realities are combined into one. We read his story through poems, legends, dreams and witchery. Tayo lives this reality and is being seen from the outside by characters in the novel and readers of the novel who may name him as “...

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