Summary saw the “white man’s” definition of
Summary of “Ceremony”Summary of “Ceremony”Jeremy Croy KC7OFQCeremony is the story about Tayo, A Native American World War II Veteran,and his struggle to find himself.
He struggles to adapt to a world where hispeople have to fight between the what “whites” say is the true path, and whathis culture says the right path. Ceremony displays Tayo’s struggle by comparinghis struggle to find his own path, to the other Native American’s and theirfight to their own path.The book starts as Tayo is in bed going over the war in his mindHeremembers how the Japanese looked like him, same skin color and how Rocky toldhim, “It’s is what we’re here to do” and how he doesn’t understand why he’sthere killing people that look like him, and possibly feel the same way he does.But he is there because the “white” recruiter told him that he could fly planes,and make America proud.
He remembers the clash of his path between what thewhite man wanted and his path. Tayo became so entranced with the idea that theJapanese were like him that he started to put people he knew at home’s faces onthe Japanese soldiers. Tayo could not see the reason for killing the Japanese,and then when the soldier killed Rocky, it made his path split like a silkstring to a spider’s web, it went out in all directions. His mind snapped atthat exact moment and went into “shell-shock”.Tayo started very early trying to find his path, but yet his pathparalleled Rocky’s until the time when Rocky died. Tayo’s path paralleled butwas always a step behind, because he was trying to retain his heritage and stillkeep with the new ways. Tayo walked a thin line trying to keep his path andRocky’s close together because he loved Rocky, and yet could not understandRocky wanting so badly to leave the old ways.
Rocky believed in the white man’sscience, when all Tayo wanted to believe in was Native American science, forexample the cattle raisingJosiah was bringing cattle home that he’d boughtand was reading books on it, and saw the “white man’s” definition of “perfectcattle” and laughed, and the rest of the family read it, and they all laughedexcept for Rocky who said, “Those books are written by scientists. They knoweverything there is to know about beef cattle. That’s the trouble with the waypeople around here have always done things-they never knew what they weredoing.” To Rocky the Native American’s were an old sub-human race, while Tayothought of his people as the true seekers of knowledge, and the “white men” asonly dilettantes in the game. The Deer is a startling example of Tayo’s andRocky’s different ideas about their people Tayo was keeping with traditionwhile Rocky wanted to spit on tradition and move on, this being where the path’sin the book began to split, then they realign themselves with the start of thewar and then branch at the time of Rocky’s death.
As I said this was the strawthat broke the camel’s back and made the branch in the path turn into a tangledskein that no one except Tayo could straighten out.Tayo, had to struggle to straighten his path out, to make it as straightas the road, instead of the tangled skein it was now, and he tried many methods,he tried to talk to army psychologists, to Medicine Men, and finally it was thelove of a woman, which made him begin to start down his path, the path of thenon-destroyers, the path of the Bear, the healers of the land. He watched “whitemen” destroy his land, his people, and the Mother Earth all in the name ofprogress. Tayo saw how his people were destroyed by alcohol, business, and aboveall their mentality of the “White man can do no wrong.” His path was sure now,it was all the white man’s fault he lost Rocky and all their fault for thedestruction of his people.
Ceremony was basically a book about how to get even with the white man,not about enlightening our perception of their people. The author refers to thewhite man as the “Destroyers”, or the ones who destroy everything, Tayo’s pathmerged with one purpose and that was to walk in pity because he couldn’t fightback, not as the healer he wanted to be. The author didn’t make Tayo’s path aBear path, no she made his path mirror one of a shark. One who say’s the enemyis other’s and gets bloodlust to end the problem.
The solution isn’t that simpleand that the author stated such a thing is a step down as her point as an author.Robert A. Heinlien showed the plot of minorities without having the maincharacter call everyone else destroyers, and punishers of Mother Earth. The maincharacter found his path, it just wasn’t one with harmony in mind.