"Ceremony" by Leslie Silko

Essay by stizzy May 2003

download word file, 4 pages 4.0

The outsider looking in verses the insider looking out.

Is it possible to be a part of something and have no connection to it? In the book Ceremony, by Leslie Marmon Silko, discusses how one can be a part of something but at the same time be viewed as an outsider. Tayo the main character of the book has to deal with this conflict. He was part "white" and part Native American. He was raised into the Native American Customs, however to the Native Americans as well as the "whites" he was considered and outsider. They treated him as if he didn't belong to either group. He was trying to fit in with both races without disrespecting the other. He struggled to try to stay neutral and find balance between both worlds.

Tayo grew up with a lot of confusion in his life. He had to deal with living his life on the hyphen.

He was half "white" and half Native American. Due to the fact that these two groups didn't really get along it was hard for Tayo to truly feel like he was a part of both worlds. Most people who deal with the problem of being a "half breed" or being of mixed races take the most significant aspects of each race and turn it into what I consider to be the "hyphenated race". This hyphenated race consists of people who are part of two or more different races. These people take the most valuable or essential aspects of each culture and combine them into one, creating their own unique culture.

It was hard for Tayo to determine where he belonged because even though he was half "white" the "real" white people treated him as if he was fully Indian. On the other hand the Native...