Topics for Response Papers
Remember, be selective. Don't try to answer the entire question, but choose one or two key scenes or characters or images to formulate your answer. And back up what you say with specific citations or quotations.
Ceremony (pp. 1-153)
A. Like the Odyssey, Ceremony is rooted in an oral tradition.
After reviewing Thomas' and Momaday's articles, note what to what extent
this printed novel makes use of oral techniques and traditions. What are
some of the oral techniques that Silko uses in her telling of the return
of Tayo? Where in the story do they occur? Who uses them? What is their
effect on the participants in the story? On us, as readers?
B. Identity and difference are important issues for each work. Tayo in
Ceremony is of mixed descent and part of the interest in the novel is
how he deals with these different parts of his identity. What are the
factors that define Tayo's identity?
Ceremony (pp. 153-end)
How is gender constructed among the characters in Ceremony? To what extent
is Tayo shaped by feminine perspectives? Who is responsible for Tayo's healing?