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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

[Archive] Ceremony Assignment 2/20/13


We have discussed the interrelationships among healing, ceremony, and storytelling in Laguna/Pueblo culture. We will continue exploration of these links in writing today.

Leslie Marmon Silko
Assignment: In a two- to three-paragraph comment to this post, answer this prompt: in his Introduction to Leslie Marmon Silko's Ceremony, Larry McMurtry says that it has been suggested that Silko's novel be called a "telling" rather than a novel (xxii). What does McMurty mean by "telling"? How does the term "telling" relate to the novel's title? Finally, what is the relationship between telling, ceremony, and healing in relation to Tayo?

You will begin work on this very short essay in class today; you may finish at any time prior to the deadline posted below. Use standard English. Cite textual evidence from Silko's novel. Remember: summarize or paraphrase most evidence and quote only when the exact phrasing is unique or especially important. Your comment may respond to previous comments as long as it otherwise fulfills these assignment criteria. Citation includes in-text citation and a list of Works Cited. See the citation link on this blog for instructions. In order to post a comment here, you must have an online account compatible with Blogspot. You may use either an existing online account, like your SU Gmail account, or set up a new one expressly for online work in this class. You may use whatever online moniker you prefer (barring the offensive) as long as your posts include your name. After the semester is over and final grades issued, you are free to disable any online account you used for this class. This assignment counts as one participation grade and is due by midnight on 2/20/13.

41 comments:

  1. A “telling” is meant as a culture object. In the Indian culture, stories are more often than not, passed down through words of mouth than written down for other people to read. These tellings are often spoken from person to person and kept within a tribe for many years.

    The term “telling” relates to the novel’s title, “Ceremony” because like stories, cures of sickness and other illnesses or ailments have also been passed down from generation to generation. They are taboos to cultures whereas different cultures have different remedies that they think will work the best for the type of sickness they are left to deal with. So with tellings, different cultures and tribes have different stories that they think matter most to them and are important.

    The relationship between a telling, ceremony, and healing in relation to Tayo, is that in tribes and other cultures, they all can be expressed and dealt with in a variety of ways. A healing and ceremony are in the same category with trying to make a person feel better, whether in sickness or another “bad” way. The telling is the way that these remedies, cures, and healings get passed down to the members that will find it beneficial. So all three are linked together in the way that they are all passed down by word of mouth in the views of tribes and cultures.

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  2. McMurtry refers to Silko’s work as “tellings” rather than a novel because of the background culture she and she story is based off of. The Native American culture of story telling is very prevalent in Ceremony because it is not meant to be taken as one person sitting down reading to a class, it is should be taken as a Native American story telling where all are gathered around listening to the tellings of one somebody.

    The term “telling” also relates to the novel’s title, Ceremony, because now that the tellings of this short story have come so far and the way the culture is wrapped around story telling. It has come to be a ceremony to gather around and get together for a story. A ceremony in the story is a cure for the sick, since the book has been published almost three decades ago and never lost it’s touch, the book itself is a ceremony. “She knows that the stories wont save everyone; but, if they are faithfully kept and honored the people will survive and perhaps in time recover their primal strengths” (McMurtry xxii). That is a perfect quote for this answer, Silko is trying to restore their primal strengths with her stories. Though it won’t cure everybody, every little bit helps.

    The relationship between telling, ceremony, and the healing in relation to Tayo, all come back to the Native American culture and how story telling is a ceremony and a ceremony is a cure. The common goal of trying to cure the person or make them feel better is all told by word of mouth and is passed down from generation to generation.

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  3. Leslie Marmon Silko wrote the novel called “Ceremony.” Yet there are some people who question whether it should stick as a novel or just be known as a telling. A telling in this case would be an oral literary story, or basically a story that sounds like it should be told aloud. According to Larry McMurtry, Silko never loses sight that the world was here first, with things such as the sun and the moon. McMurtry also states that Silko ends her story with an offering to the sunrise. She uses a lot of Indian terms, and Indians used to tell their stories out loud to one another. The term telling refers to speaking of a story, and Indians used to do this all the time. These stories could be healing for someone or the earth, kind of like a ceremony. This type of ceremony can be related to Tayo in many ways.
    The title of the story has now, “Ceremony,” means cure. In the story Tayo has difficulty telling his problems to people, and there are times in life where talking out loud with someone about your problem can in fact cure you of your misery. In the novel “Ceremony,” instead of dealing with their problems head on. Tayo drinks his problems away rather than having a healthier solution to this. All of these things are related. The ceremony, or fixing of a problem, goes with Tayo and his post-traumatic stress disorder. Tayo talking about his problems could help him fix the problems he is dealing with.

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  4. I believe that given Leslie Marmon Silko’s upbringing in a Native American society has engaged her in a rich culture that has primarily been passed on to generations by the form of story telling. Given that written word was not a priority of ancestral Native Americans, formal ceremonies, rights of passage, instructions on how to live, and tales were told vocally to people by knowledgeable elders. Silko also had an unconventional writing style, with admitted no formal training in novels, and wrote what became her book, “Ceremony.” The title directly reflects the meaning and theory behind the writing of the book since ceremonies are traditionally a vocal “telling” of sorts by either a medicine man or community healer. Given Larry McMurtay’s (author of introduction) knowledge of the originality of work from a native American author, “Ceremony”, as noted to be considered by N. Scott Momaday, suggests that Silko’s novel is not a novel at all but an actual telling (a personal account), almost giving her the respect of a honorary true native American story teller, not just a novelist. Allowing the unconventional combination of short story conventions and poems including breaks instead of chapters within the writing to form one continuous story. The form of novel doesn’t quite fit, calling it a “telling” seems to fit better since it follows normal Native American story telling formatting and style.

    In relation to the suffering protagonist named Tayo, you see that in even in his drugged and delusional state, the idea of ceremony as a cure for distress arises in Tayo’s mind through poems given to the reader. The poems suggest that a ceremony needs to take place, whether or not it is interpreted as a personal ceremony, or a traditional ceremony is debatable. Through his confusion, misinterpretation of events and post-traumatic stress disorder, Tayo resorts to the idea of a curing ceremony, bringing him back to his Native American roots in order to heal from connection to culture and ancestral knowledge. Through physical story telling, these ceremonies are possible, and through ancestral “telling” of life knowledge, Tayo searches for his soul among an array of complications in his rough past.

    Works Cited:
    Silko, Leslie Marmon. Ceremony. New York: Penguin Group, 1977, 2006 (US). Print.

    McMurtry, Larry. Introduction to:“Ceremony.” New York: Penguin Group, 2006. Print

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  6. The novel would be correct in being called a "telling" because of the lyrical way that it was written, it "sounds" like it is being told. Not only that, but it is more personal than most novels, that are told more from an all knowing narrator that is completely removed from the story. However the title of the story, Ceremony, fits so much better. At least, that is what I think. Ceremony means a cure and a cure is what helps someone to heal. I think that it takes more to heal from a large ordeal that sometimes there is the need for someone to make a ceremony to heal. The native American culture has a large number of ceremonies that include the telling of stories.

    The main character Tayo comes back from World War II with PSTD. He has break downs in the jungle (pg 8), in the train station (pg 18), and even tries to kill someone (pg 63). This is really bad PTSD and everyone finds something else to blame than being sick (pg 52). It is going to take a lot to help Tayo heal but he won't ever be completely over his PTSD. He will need a ceremony to help him heal.

    Silko, Leslie Marmon. Ceremony. New York: Penguin Group, 1977, 2006 (US). Kindle ebook file.

    McMurtry, Larry. Introduction to:“Ceremony.” New York: Penguin Group, 2006. Kindle ebook file.

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  7. In the introduction of "Ceremony", written by Leslie Marmon Silko, Larry McMurtry says that a novelist by the name of N. Scott Momaday suggests the novel should be called a "telling." What McMurtry means by "telling" is that he is describing how Silko, the author, discusses Tayo, who like Silko has a mixed ethnicity. "Telling" could also mean how Silko was able to explain Tayo's character, such as being a World War II veteran suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.

    How the term "telling" relates to the novels title "Ceremony" is that McMurtry is explaining how Tayo has been having a hard time dealing with the effects of the war since he has been home. It is also explained that Tayo was upset that a mine was dug up in a sacred area in Tayo's homeland. "Telling" can also relate to the title "Ceremony" because it is discussed how you can help someone who is having a difficult time with the effects from the war and how to help them get back on their feet.

    The relationship between telling, ceremony, and healing in relation to Tayo is that they all discuss how to help someone who is suffering from post traumatic effects from a war. They also discuss how to help him deal with post traumatic stress, although he won't completely recover, since McMurtry says "she knows that the stories won't save everyone" (McMurtry xxii).

    Works Cited:
    Silko, Leslie Marmon. Ceremony. New York: Penguin Group, 1977, 2006 (US). Print.

    McMurtry, Larry. Introduction to:“Ceremony.” New York: Penguin Group, 2006. Print

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  8. "Ceremony" has been discussed to be referred to as a "telling" because it is, "so original and so richly textured," (pg. xxii). This novel does not have normal novel language in it, it is Leslies interpretation of the story so it has emotions in it. She has a War hero, Tayo, that she looks up to in these stories and likes the ideas he carries, that the Earth was here first and we should respect it (pg. xxiii).

    A "telling" relates to the title "Ceremony" because they both take time to do, and they are both done verbally. When ceremonies take place, like a graduation for example, there is talking and congratulating. The people that hold that ceremony tell the crowd and the students how proud they are and tell them who graduated and inspiring words for the future. Usually graduations are hours long, along with a telling. To tell a story well it takes time, just as doing a ceremony well does.

    In the introduction it states how Tayo looks towards the tribes stories in this time of need when their homeland was destroyed (pg. xxii). These stories are tellings that are meant to heal the tribe and keep them from the bad that has been sent upon them for digging a mine on their land (pg. xxii). The tellings could also be seen as a ceremony of showing their appreciation to the land and they did not mean for this to happen. They want to use these stories to bring the tribe together and drive away the bad spritis and heal the land and soldiers suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.

    Works Cited

    McMurtry, Larry. Introduction to:“Ceremony.” New York: Penguin Group, 2006. Print

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  9. Leslie Marmon Silko’s Ceremony is written as a novel but it seems it would be more appropriate as a telling. From what I understand a telling is verbally way of sharing a story verse reading the words on a page, which is what I would consider a novel. With certain stories using the literary device of a telling it conveys a more powerful delivery rather than a novel.

    The term “telling” is sharing information verbally, and “The title of the novel, Ceremony, refers to the healing ceremonies based on the ancient stories of the Dine and Pueblo people.” (xv). In order to heal one must identify the problem and communicate it so it can be fixed and the easiest and most convent way to do so is verbally so you are telling. So the term “telling” is part of the healing process, which is what the novel’s title, is all about.

    The relationship between “telling”, ceremony, and healing to Tayo is that he is in the first part of that healing process which requires him to tell the problem and once the problem is told you can start to heal it and that is what the native American ceremony is about.

    Work cited:
    McMurtry, Larry. Introduction to: “Ceremony.” New York: Penguin Group, 2006. Print

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  10. In his introduction to Leslie Marmon Silko's Ceremony, Larry McMurtry mentions that the novelist, N. Scott Momaday suggests that the book should not be labeled as a novel but rather a "telling". Momaday was suggesting this because the novel itself is more of an oral story rather than a literal one. The words seem to be talking to you like you're really there rather than relaying information about a story.
    Silko grew up in an orally traditional community and this novel takes place in one as well. Silko would have kept this story an oral tradition but since she got the chance to have a book deal she wrote it down as if it were oral. She breaks one of the many rules of novel writing by doing this but in the end she composed one of the greatest Native American novels so it probably does not matter!
    This concept of "telling" refers to the novel's title because a ceremony is an event in which people gather to tell stories and cure each other of their troubles. The telling of stories is a way of healing for the main character Tayo. In the introduction it says, "Tayo...turns for protection to the tribe's saving stories. The stories help the people move from imbalance...back to a kind of balance (xxii). " The stories in this novel heal people with their troubles and especially heal Tayo; they do this in the way of ceremonies.
    Mcmurtry closes his introduction by stating that Silko's "'tellings' never lose sight of the fact that the earth was here first" She ends the novel with a short poem: Sunrise / accept this offering / Sunrise to describe Tayo's difficult return. ( xxiii)

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  11. In the preface of Leslie Marmon Silko’s novel, Ceremony, Larry McMurty suggests that the novel should be called a “telling” instead of its original title. The reason that he suggests a “telling” is because he views the story as being more of a personal experience. If the title is changed, then it gives the reader a sense that it is truly about Tayo’s journey and that Silko is reading to us, his path taken. I believe that the title should be kept as “Ceremony”, because of the way that Silko is trying to include her heritage. A ceremony is more of a ritual or custom preformed as a form of healing or coming together of a community. This is why the poems are included within the text. When she connects a poem from her background with parts of the text, she is connecting the reader with her heritage. Reading the book, places us like we are actually in a ceremony.
    Through out the first several pages of the book, the character Tayo is being introduced. His story is told about how he had been away for six years. When he came back from the war, things were never the same. Silko tells us his battle with PTSD and battle with acceptance of his community since he had somewhat been outcasted. As the story continues, the pages explain how hard Tayo is trying to be healed and that maybe if he is healed, then so will his community and family.

    Silko, Leslie Marmon. Ceremony. New York: Penguin Group, 1977, 2006 (US). Print.

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  12. Even today some still raise the question whether or not "Ceremony" is a novel, or a "telling." Due to the background of the author, you could conclude that it is in fact a "telling." Being Native American, tales were passed down, and are not considered novels. The author told the story in a way that allowed the reader to understand what happened ,that was outside of the realm of a novel. Leslie Marmon Silko even made the claim that she had no real proper writing training, and this is another reason you could say this story is more of a "telling" then a typical novel we read today.The novel's title of "Ceremony" most closely means a cure, and the term "telling" relates to this, because it makes it a more accurate representation of what actually happens, and the events of Tayo's life.

    As for Tayo all of these characteristics relate, because as he comes back from war he is suffering from severe PTSD. He faces delusions,and his life now is shaped from the demons in his past. Ceremony means a cure, and he is looking for something to help him understand his condition, and to eventually get through it. Tayo needs a ceremony to help him recover from the events in his past.

    Works Cited:
    Silko, Leslie Marmon. Ceremony. New York: Penguin Group, 1977, 2006 (US). Print.

    McMurtry, Larry. Introduction to:“Ceremony.” New York: Penguin Group, 2006. Print

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  14. Silko’s “Ceremony” is a story of Tayo’s thoughts, stories and life events during and after the World War II. The protagonist of the story Tayo is apart of an Indian tribe and all of his ways of life are based after this tribe. Silko has written this story in a way that is more of a tale, rather than a modern day novel, which gives it more of a gathered around a campfire story feel to the reader. Since it is written in this form it is much more appropriate to consider this as more of a “telling” than a novel. For one, since it is based off of an Indian tribe many of their stories are told as tales, with morals and background beliefs. Also the story is based off of Tayo’s present day events plus his past memories so it is really the tale of his life, and the reader is viewing it directly from his eyes. “Tayo, like he wisest of his people, turns for protection to the tribes saving stories. The stories help the people move from imbalance and disorder back to a kind of balance, the balance that comes from accuracy and depth and beauty off the stories” (Silko xxii). Since the story is more of a telling it also gives us a background view of the author herself, because Leslie Marmon Silko also grew up in an Indian tribe, so growing up she was raised in an era of story telling.

    “Ceremony” is based off of healing, which Tayo is in dyer need of. He suffers from a mild form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, as well as grieving over the loss of his brother Harley and his uncle who he thinks was lost in war. With all of these stressors pressing down on him he makes himself violently ill for many, many years and during this time his family is seeking a form of healing for his illness. Not only is he physically ill, but Tayo is also mentally ill and he needs to be cured from both of these states to be able to move on and function in his life. “Ceremony” also means a cure, whether it be from illness or from mental sicknesses. Throughout the story more of Tayo’s past is revealed which guides the reader closer to the healing of Tayo himself, which is what is assumed to be apparent by the end of the tale.

    Ceremony, telling and healing all relates to Tayo because the short story is being told from Tayo’s eyes, and Tayo is a character in need of healing. His tribe is a big believer in spiritual guidance and healing, but since Tayo is not full- blood he may not be able to receive this healing in full because he is not 100% Indian. Tayo has to go through many hard events in life, which may mean being perfectly healthy one day, but waking up the next day and even, the slightest movement makes him ill. This also brings all of these themes together because a telling requires many life events, turmoil and an accomplishment since it is a play by play of someone’s life. Since the reader is being told all of these events they have a deeper, more personal connection with Tayo, one they may not have reached if it was written like a novel.


    Works Cited:
    Silko, Leslie Marmon. Ceremony. New York: Penguin Group, 1977, 2006 (US). Print.

    McMurtry, Larry. Introduction to:“Ceremony.” New York: Penguin Group, 2006. Print

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  15. Silko’s novel could be considered a “telling” due to the way it is read. The book reads as if it should be read allowed. Along with the writing style the book has not lost any of its force since it was published. The fact it could be a “telling” also go back to Silko’s heritage. Indian people a lot of times sang or spoke their stories instead of writing them down, so her book is written at a deep level. The story is told as if it should be in first person going though the situations with Tayo without it being written in first person.
    The title “Ceremony “ meaning cure or healing is related to the term telling do to the fact talking is a form of healing. With Tayo he couldn’t talk about what was going on with him he just cried. For him to heal from being at war he needed to talk and express what he was feeling, what happened, and what was going on.

    Silko, Leslie Marmon. Ceremony. New York: Penguin Group, 1977, 2006 (US). Print.

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  17. Tila Thomas

    Larry McGurty makes the claim that Silko’s work “Ceremony” should be considered more of a “telling” than a novel. When McGurty says “telling” it reminds me of a story that has been passed down from generations or a story that has a deeper meaning for people to learn from. I think that’s what the story Ceremony does; it is a telling of how you can be “cured” from post-traumatic stress. That is what is happening to Tayo in the story. He is having flashbacks, vomiting, and having bad nightmares due to that fact that he went to war with his uncle and cousin, then had returned alone.
    Having the name “Ceremony” suggests that Tayo has to go through something to get over his stress. That the journeys he endures and goes through is really the “ceremony” of him getting through his traumatic stress. If the story were called “Telling” it would suggest that Silko as the author went through something similar and she was telling the story through the eyes and mind of Tayo.

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  18. Not many novels have been considered a "telling" which is exactly what Larry McMurtry suggest that Leslie Silko's novel "Ceremony" really is. According to Portable Literature eighth addition, historically a novel is "epics and romances, for instance, often have unified plots, developed characters, and complex plots." McMurtry suggest that Silko's novel is a "telling" simply because it is not an ordinary novel with chapters etc., but instead a story telling.
    Leslie Silko is from the same tribe and area as the main character, Tayo. In their culture oral story telling is the primary way stories are told. Silko writes her story as if she is speaking it to the reader. She writes Ceremony as if she were orally telling a story, which is why McMurtry calls this novel a "telling". The title of the novel, "Ceremony" is suggested to be a cure or healing process for Tayo's post traumatic stress disorder after his affairs in war. The "telling" of a story in Tayo's community is the way in which balance is restored to disorder. Both Ceremony and "telling" are cures for Tayo. All three have a strong relationship in this story specifically because the ceremony, "telling" and Tayo are apart of the healing process and the restoring of order and balance in people and community.

    Kirszner, Laurie G., Mandell, Stephen
    R. Portable Literature. Wadsworth:
    Uhl, 2007. Print.
    Silko, Leslie M. Ceremony. Penguin
    Books. 1977. Print.

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  19. Caroline Madden

    Leslie Marmon Silko’s novel, Ceremony, tells the story of Tayo, a man who’s present is haunted by memories of his past in World War II. Larry McMurty, the writer of the introduction, insists that Ceremony is more of a ‘telling’ than a novel. The novel is infused with poems, and an overall structure that is different than a traditional novel. This structure represents the Native American culture; the structure is more of a ‘telling’, just as the Native Americans themselves pass down stories to one another. These stories can comfort for Tayo He can leave home for the war, no matter where he goes stories will always be there. “Stories help the people move from imbalance and disorder back to a kind of balance, the balance that comes from the accuracy and depth and beauty of the stories.” (Silk xxii)
    Tayo suffers from PTSD after the war, he has terrible nightmares and sickness. Therefore, Tayo has to go through something in order to heal, the only way he can be cured is by a ‘ceremony’, a process of healing. That is what stories do, that is why they are told. Stories have the power to heal people. Native Americans passed down stories to so that one might learn, grow, change, and possibly heal. Stories teach lessons, and can also provide people comfort. Ceremony is a telling because it incorporates the Native American culture with the journey that Tayo has to go on- through story Tayo will be able to heal.

    McMurtry, Larry. Introduction to: “Ceremony.” New York: Penguin Group, 2006. Print

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  20. In the novel Ceremony, written by Leslie Marmon Silko, there is much discussion as to whether or not this literary agent can be defined as a novel or not. Larry McMurty says that Ceremony could possibly be reffered to as a “telling” rather than a novel. What does McMurty mean by using the term “telling”, how can the word “telling” relate to the novel, and is there a relationship between telling, ceremony, and healing in the relationship to the protagonist, Tayo.

    While reading the narrative, Ceremony, the reader gets a sense that this was written as an oral story would be told. This is what McMurty is referring to when he talks about it being a “telling”. The title also relates to the authors way of writing the story and the “ceremonies” Tayo will/has gone through in the brook. It is just a play on words.

    All of this is related to Tayo in many ways. First, telling because that is all he does when he comes back from war. All of his buddies and him sit around and tell each other the stories of their experiences while at war. Ceremony is related because of the reitual of telling stories usually takes place during ceremonies. The healing is related to his over coming of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, which was common for soldiers after coming back from war.

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  21. McMurty said that ceremony was “telling” because the way in which Ceremony is written is very similar to the way a poem is written. By poem, I don’t mean some current teen angst haiku or sonnet, but in the way stories were told from parent to offspring in olden days. The term “telling” relates to the title “ceremony” because in Native American culture, a ceremony was a time during which stories would be told and healing would take place.
    Now the way that all of these are connected through Tayo is very simple. Ceremony is told as a first-person narrative through his fractured mental state. In the process of telling his story, Tayo is healing himself by telling this story. By trying to piece together his memory, he is creating a ceremony to heal himself.

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  22. The story, “Ceremony” by Leslie Marmon Silko is considered to be a “telling” rather than a novel due to the unique way it was written. It is told like a story and has Silko’s own emotions in the story, which differs greatly from a normal novel, which is basic and usually fictional. Silko also failed to separate her story into chapters, which a novel would have. She tells the story of Tayo and incorporates poems throughout the story wherever she pleases instead of in a place that it would “fit” and work with the story.
    Silko also tells the story like it would be told in an old-folks tale. It is written, as it would be told verbally. She interprets what has happened and tells her story of it. Common literary elements that are frequently used in novels are left out of her story and she tells is as it happens and doesn’t worry about the climax or major events but just writes it in as it happens. Silko created her own style by writing as if she were telling a story and by adding poems in and pictures. It is considered a “telling” due to its style of writing and its lack of common novel characteristics.

    Works Cited

    McMurtry, Larry. Introduction to:“Ceremony.” New York: Penguin Group, 2006. Print

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  23. Larry McMurty suggest that the novel be called a “telling” rather then it being called a novel because a “telling” is something that cures a sickness or some sort of other illness going on. The novel Ceremony is about a guy named Tayo who has just got back from war and is dealing with still seeing things from war.

    The relationship between telling, ceremony, and healing are all related to Tayo because in a tribe a ceremony is used to help someone if they’re having trouble with something or if they’re sick. Telling has to deal with sharing ones story so that maybe other people can find a cure to help others out. Healing is related because it helps whoever is hurting find a way to get through it all.


    Works Cited:
    Silko, Leslie Marmon. Ceremony. New York: Penguin Group, 1977, 2006 (US). Print.

    McMurtry, Larry. Introduction to:“Ceremony.” New York: Penguin Group, 2006. Print

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  24. In the novel written by Leslie Marmon Silko, named Ceremony, the introduction is written by a man named Larry McMurtry. In this introduction he discusses how the title of this novel should maybe be called the "telling"; I believe he is referring to it this way because of the way the author's culture believes in story sharing. He states in the introduction, " Leslie Marmon Silko grew up on the Laguna Reservation west of Albuquerque. " She is of the Native American culture, their way of sharing stories is through "telling" them to their young ones shared by the elders of their tribes. So it is in her culture to tell a story rather than write them in the traditional manner most authors would use to write a novel.

    The way that the title of this novel, Ceremony, relates to what McMurtry refers to as "telling" is very simple actually. Most tribes of the Native American culture tell their stories and myths around bon fires as a ritual or would be considered a Ceremony involving dancing and food before the actual story "tellings". This is a tradition the Native American culture holds true to this day with their Ceremonies. That is why I believe McMurtry uses the term "telling" in reference to the actual title of this novel.

    Tayo suffers from PTSD in this novel, he is a veteran that is returning back to his reservation from WWII. From my own personal experiences from returning from a war zone, one of the best ways to help heal you in a way is to talk about your struggles with the people that truly care for you. The relation that "telling", ceremonies, and healing would all have in common all run along the same path. In Tayo's culture the ones that truly care for him will be residing on his reservation, with their traditional ceremonies that will be held with his family from his tribe they be "telling" stories that will bring him comfort and he can also tell his stories to help get them off of his chest. This is not the ultimate cure for the healing process involved with PTSD, but it with definitely help him with some of the struggles he may be dealing with.

    McMurtry, Larry. Introduction to: “Ceremony.” New York: Penguin Group, 2006. Print

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  25. Drew Keenan

    Larry McMurty suggests that Ceremony could be referred to as a “telling” rather than a “story”. I think that this means that the story is best taken as a conversation between the author and the reader and also as a lesson. It is kind of like a Native American story that is passed through the generations, something that you would have a conversation about rather than read a novel on. The novel is kind of hard to understand so you need to dig deeper to find the true meaning

    The title of the “Ceremony” is used as a term of healing. Telling relates to word of mouth and speaking. To me this could mean that the author wants the reader to see that communication is a part of the healing process.

    The relation between telling, healing, and ceremony to Teyo is his drive to have the strength to deal with his PTSD. As discussed in class earlier, maybe no one completely ever “heals” so to say, but you can learn to live.

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  26. In the introduction to Ceremony by Larry McMurtry he discusses how Ceremony should be called a ‘telling’ and not a novel. This is to insist that Silko talks instead of writing. She is portraying the story as if she is telling it instead of writing. A telling is a story told out loud, normally they are about the past; such as, the makings of something or how the earth came to be.

    At a ceremony the only thing happening is talking. At weddings or awards ceremonies people are talking the whole time, there is never really a quite moment. Since almost all ceremonies are only talking it implies that Ceremony is more of a ‘talking’ than a novel.

    In ceremonies people talk the whole time, ceremonies can also be used as a ‘cure’. In the Native American cultures they use ceremonies to ‘heal’ or ‘cure’ the person from a ‘sickness.’ For the American culture, today, we use AA meetings, shrinks, psychiatrists, or rehab steps for cures to drugs, depression, PTSD, or alcohol. In relation to ‘talking’ and Ceremony, it is considered and should be called a talking and not a novel because the book is spoken not just read.


    Works Cited

    McMurtry, Larry. "Introduction." Introduction. Ceremony. By Leslie Marmon Silko. New York, NY: Penguin, 2006. Xxi-xiii. Print.

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  27. Ellen Hill

    “The title of the novel, Ceremony, refers to the healing ceremonies based on the ancient stories of the Dine and Pueblo people” (xv). Her novel should be called a “telling” because of how Silko’s heritage influences her writing style. In all of her “tellings” she never lose the sight of what came first to her ancestors. The term telling relates the title because telling is how the Laguna Pueblo people used to communicate. Being that the main character of the story is a Laguna Pueblo man it is fitting.

    The relationship between telling, ceremony, and healing relation to Tayo is that Silko “knows that the stories won’t save everyone; but, if they are faithfully kept and honored, the people will survive and perhaps in time recover their primal strength” (xxii). Tayo is a veteran suffering with PTSD. He finds that things weren’t the same as when he left them. With the power of a healing ceremony things within Tayo might become “normal” again once he finds it in himself to go back to his roots.

    McMurtry, Larry. Introduction to: “Ceremony.” New York: Penguin Group, 2006. Print

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  28. Kelly Scott

    McMurty introduces the concept of expressing Ceremony as a “telling” rather than a novel (xxii). A “telling” is a story that can be recalled from memory, and is passed down or through generations orally. So it is essentially timeless. Just as the “tellings” of Snow White and Cinderella have transcended decades, Ceremony has remained popular for over thirty years, and has become a regular in our cultural teachings.

    The word ceremony can represent many different things. It can be a wedding, a graduation, or even a groundbreaking. All of those involve a bunch of talking. “Tellings” are often passed by the word of mouth, just as the message of a ceremony is spoken, and often retold. In this novel ceremony means a cure: a spoken cure. This spoken cure could involve Tayo opening up about his past life, or it could involve Tayo standing up to the crippled society that surrounds him. In each instance though, it involves Tayo expressing his own person “telling” so he can be cured of the hauntings that engulf his mind.

    Tayo returns from the second World War completely broken. He constantly gets sick, and he thinks it is because of the light (28). However he never has a serious conversation with anyone about the trouble he is having while trying to cope with everything that has changed since he left for the war. When Tayo has an episode while riding horses with Harley, Harley thinks it is “sunstroke,” and Tayo never corrects him (26). In order for Tayo to heal, and therefore complete his ceremony, or find his cure, he must first reveal his “telling,” otherwise no one will be able to help him.

    Silko, Leslie Marmon. Ceremony. New York: Penguin Group, 1977, 2006 (US). Print.

    McMurtry, Larry. Introduction to:“Ceremony.” New York: Penguin Group, 2006. Print.

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  29. Rachel Wilks

    In “Ceremony” Larry McMurty says that the writing should be called a “telling” rather then a novel (xxii). A “telling” means that a story is told by someone talking rather then a novel which is told by writing. The writing does not have chapters but is a continuous work that has breaks in between different conversations.

    The title is “Ceremony” which also means cure. The term “telling” relates to the novel title “Ceremony” both are done through talking. The term “telling” also relates to the title “Ceremony” because Tayo is trying to cure his illness. In order for him to cure his illness he must talk about the events that he has witnessed in the past.

    The relationship between telling, ceremony and healing in relation to Tayo is that they are all discussed in how to try and overcome his PTSD after the war. In order to heal himself he must talk about the event that he saw during war. The stories are also told at ceremonies to help heal oneself.



    Works Cited
    McMurtry, Larry. Introduction to:“Ceremony.” New York: Penguin Group, 2006. Print

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  31. Larry McMurtry refers to Leslie Silko's "Ceremony" as a "telling. The meaning behind this is that a "telling" is more of a story being told to you rather being read. Leslie's story of her hero, Tayo, are so emotional that when reading the novel the reader feels as if the story is being told to them directly by Silko. In Native American culture, they use stories, as well as myths, to educate other of their history and morals.

    Native Americans have ceremonies when they are looking for a cure to a problem. They use these as a sort of medicine, so to speak. Tellings, ceremonies, and healing relate to one another through the Native American culture.

    McMurtry, Larry. Introduction to: “Ceremony.” New York: Penguin Group, 2006. Print

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  32. “The earth was here first, along with the sun and the moon and other permanent powers” (pg. xxiii). Ceremony is not a novel that we are supposed to read between the lines. Leslie Silko is trying to tell us what life was like for Tayo and the experiences he went through.

    Telling relates to ceremony because they both involve speaking. Just like we talked in class about the weddings. There is a bride, groom, and a priest. The priest talks to both of them and the bride and groom tell each other their vows. All of these involve speaking. Leslie Silko is trying to tell us first hand how all the events happen involving Tayo.

    “Going home is terribly hard. Neither Tayo nor his home is the same” (pg. xxii). This describes one of the problems that Tayo has to deal with; going home. Not only does Tayo have to deal with the war he just came from but now going back to his home which he hasn’t been in a long time. “In Tayo’s homeland a mine has been dug in a scared area.” There are problems to overcome everywhere he goes. He will have to heal, tell, and have a ceremony of some sort in memory of what was overcome.

    WORKS CITED

    Silko, Leslie. Ceremony. Deluxe Edition. Penguin Classics, 2006. Print.

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  33. Chris Lyons

    I think he means a “telling” as if the story is meant to be spoken rather than read silently by yourself. Silko writes it down the same way she would tell it aloud to other people. She intends it to be told to other people aloud and passed on through generations instead of everyone reading it separately. It could be used to bring communities together through story telling.

    The word telling relates to the title “Ceremony” because ceremonies are preformed out loud through story “telling”. When you are in a ceremony you do not read quietly to yourself alone in a room. You are talking to a group of people who are all listening to your “telling”.

    Healing can be considered a ceremony. So Tayo is in a way performing a ceremony by trying to get over the war and his fears. It is a telling because you can picture yourself actually being Tayo, telling the story like it is a memory, and seeing everything happen from his point of view.

    Works Cited
    Silko, Leslie. Ceremony. Deluxe Edition.
    Penguin Classics, 2006. Print.

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  34. Henry Howell

    Larry MCurty stated that the reason the story should be called a telling is that the story is told from a point of view of Tayo you seem as if you there in the action, and that the story never loses sight, such as a novel goes all over the place and is from the point of Tayo. The title of the the novel relates to a telling because the character is talking about his life, and that him telling what had happened to help him cure or help his post war problems.
    And ceremony the healing process are related because he healing himself by telling his life and experiences, unlike now they just give war vets money and forget about them. By talking through the experiences you help prevent mental. That why I believe there related to the story, and the healing process of a scared war vet.
    Silko, Leslie. Ceremony. Deluxe Edition. Penguin Classics, 2006. Print.

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  35. In the introduction to Ceremony by Larry McMurtry, he talks about how the title of the story shouldn't be a novel. In his opinion, he suggested that the title of the story should be "Telling". This is because in the reader's point of view, it looks like Silko is talking throughout the whole story rather that writing. Silko style of writing made this story effective. Silko style of writing connects to her culture believes since in most cultures stories are told by talking.
    The title of the “Ceremony” is used as a term of curing.The relationship between telling, ceremony, and healing relation to Tayo is that Silko believes that communication is the in resolving someones problem. In the story Tayo is a veteran suffering with PTSD. After he got back home, he was having nightmare of his uncle corpse so he think that he killed him. He was trying to leave a normal life but he couldn't. So in order for him to recover from his sickness and struggles, he has to go through the process of the "Ceremony" which mainly involves story telling.

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  36. Works Cited
    Silko, Leslie. Ceremony. Deluxe Edition.
    Penguin Classics, 2006. Print.

    ReplyDelete
  37. McMurtry refers to the novel “Ceremony” as a “telling” due to the fact of how the novel is written. (xxii) He is referring to the idea that the novel sounds like it should be spoken aloud rather than read. It feels more like an ancient tribal story spoken aloud rather than a typical novel.

    In the novel a “telling” is actually part of a ceremony. The word ceremony actually means “cure”. The 2 together make up a healing process for Tayo.

    In the novel Tayo is looking for healing after war. To find healing he must get help from others by telling his stories which is the “cereomony”, or the cure.

    Works Cited
    Silko, Leslie. Ceremony. Deluxe Edition.
    Penguin Classics, 2006. Print.

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  38. In his introduction to Leslie Marmom Silko’s novel Ceremony, Larry McMurty says it should be called a “telling” rather than a novel. He says this because the term “telling” refers to passing down stories between generations and that’s how the stories in Ceremony are written. Telling relates to the title of the novel because ceremonies are all about talking, and when you tell stories through generations, you do a lot of talking.

    The relationship between telling, ceremony and healing in relation to Tayo is that they all deal with his PTSD after he returns from the war. Talking is the best way to fix something. He must talk about the events he say during the way to help with the healing process.

    Silko, Leslie. Ceremony. Deluxe Edition. Penguin Classics, 2006. Print.

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  39. Bobby Lewis Jr.

    Larry McCurty says The Ceremony is a "telling" rather than a novel because Leslie Marmon Sirko sounds like she is literally talking as "it is so rich and original, that novelist Scott Momaday decided to call it a "telling" rather than novel" (Sirko XXII). The Ceremony is related to the telling of Sirko because it was, in a way, healing people as "the stories help the people move from imbalance to balance" (Sirko XXII). Therefore, this is evidence on showing "the importance of faithful storytelling as a theme" (Sirko XXII).
    "Tayo is a WWII veteran who returns suffering from PTSD" (Sirko XXII). He relates to the telling and healing as Sirko is telling Tayo's story or "most of her work could be said to explore mixed blood people" (Sirko XXII) and Tayo was mixed blood. The healing is the process that Tayo will go through from the telling of the Ceremony as "Tayo, like the wisest of people, turns for protection to the tribe's saving stories" (Sirko XXII).

    Sirko, Leslie. Ceremony. Deluxe Edition. Penguin Classics, 2006. Print

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  40. Nikki Pratt

    The work “Ceremony” can be defined as a “telling” because it carries more personal meaning than a short story usually would. The story is supposed to relate to her people and their culture in order to keep their spirit alive. “Ceremony” is not like other short stories in that it is "so original and so richly textured," (pg. xxii). The emotions and language used throughout the story, show the reader that this is more then just a story. This is an author telling of her people, telling of their culture, and telling of their purpose.

    There can be many connections made between the title “Ceremony” and its describing word “telling.” First and for most, they are done verbally, most times carrying tradition. They cannot be rushed, because they are genuine and the meaning is in the act. Also, they both hold deep meaning beyond their words. For example, when one gets married, they recite vows. But empty vows hold nothing, without meaning and genuity the act of marriage is pointless. Same concept applies with telling’s, unless the story teller has a passion and knowledge of what they are telling , then people will not feel moved or proud.

    We learn in the introduction, that Tayo looks towards the tribes’ stories in a time when his homeland has changed for the worst (pg. xxii). It is being destroyed and in a sense humiliated from the true virtue it once held. They are meant to keep away any bad. Tayo, simply wants to remind the people of their pride in their heritage. The stories he looks to are the tellings’ that have been made to heal the tribe. They are ceremonious in that they are used to unite the tribe, when separation is creeping in. Ultimately, the tellings are a bonding agent. They hold a deeper meaning and understanding that is used to bring the good back together, and to drive away the bad sprits.


    Works Cited:
    McMurtry, Larry. Introduction to:“Ceremony.” New York: Penguin Group, 2006. Print

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