AWEJ for Translation & Literary Studies, Volume 6, Number3. August 2022                              Pp. 17-29

The impact of landscape on the emotional shift in Tayo’s Character: A Study of memory and displacement in Leslie Marmon Silko’s Ceremony

Department of English, College of Languages
University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq


This paper examines the decolonizing methods used by Leslie Marmon Silko in her novel Ceremony (1977) to heal the indigenous people from the patriarchal traditions of the white hegemony. This study aims to emphasize the vulnerable responses of the Pueblo people to the memories of the clan and to highlight Silko’s methods to sustain the history and lifestyle of the indigenous people. Therefore, Silko’s novel can be situated historically and culturally within memory-studies. To analyze the contrasting behaviors of characters, this paper projects the relationship between the collective patriarchal doctrines and that of the individual within the framework of memory studies. Theories of Jan and Aleida Assmann are used here to explore the chronicle struggle of the indigenous people and to maintain the memory and tradition of the clan.  Memory studies can best describe this novel since Silko believes there is a systematic shift in dislocating the memories of the place. This cultural displacement, the Pueblo people are specifically facing, happens when the young people lose their memories of the tribe and forget their traditions. The memory-studies then establish an intersection not only between the collective and the individual but also between the white hegemony and the Indigenous culture. The paper concludes that memories of the clan can be regained through specific forms of ceremonies, narratives, or any institutional formation. Therefore, Silko’s novel has entertained the possibility of cultural and historical communication- within memory studies- that may succeed in stimulating the attention of the young generation.

Cite as:

Hadla, H.S.H. (2022). The impact of landscape on the emotional shift in Tayo’s Character: A Study of memory and displacement in Leslie Marmon Silko’s Ceremony. Arab World English Journal for Translation & Literary Studies 6 (3) 17-29.
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awejtls/vol6no3.2


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Dr. Halah Salman Hassan Hadla is a lecturer of English literature at the University of Baghdad, College of Languages, English Department. She got her BA degree and MA from the University of Baghdad, College of Education, English Department. In 2020, she got her Ph.D. from the College of Liberal Arts, University of Texas at Austin, USA. Her areas of interest include modern American novel, war and trauma, gender and feminism, Environment and Ecology Studies, American and English Literature, and third world literature. ORCiD: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9313-933X