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Silko’s Ceremony and the Hermeneutic Circle

Silko’s Ceremony and the Hermeneutic Circle

Ceremony is a novel meant to change us. It is a story, which instructs and enlightens, but it is also a tool for relating. It is useful in an extremely practical sense: It teaches us about being connected to our world, about difference and the other. These are only a couple of the possible tangible effects the book has on readers, and truly, the limiting factor in the number of possible uses for Ceremony is simply the number of individuals who read it. One of the individuals who has read Ceremony and outlined the impact the novel had on her is Alanna Kathleen Brown, a professor from the English department at Montana State University, whose essay is entitled “Pulling Silko’s Threads Through Time: An Exploration of Storytelling.” She is not a Native American, but has found all kinds of ways of interacting with the text. She has brought Native American storytelling, and with it many different tribal attitudes, into her own life, and attributes much of this to Silko’s style of storytelling. Silko creates a ceremony-written-down that a reader can engage with on an active level. Between Silko’s story, and style of storytelling, and Brown’s reading, there is room for another literary theory that can shed light on why so many non-Indians can relate to Native American Literature, and this theory seems custom built for Ceremony. It is the idea of the Hermeneutic Circle, an ancient idea in European literary thinking, but a useful one that relates literature in many of the same ways Silko and her peers do. Hans-Georg Gadamer, a major player in hermeneutic circles, describes the basic goal of literature: and hermeneutics: “something distant has to be brought close, a certain strangeness…

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…merican culture of a time in which stories were a community-based endeavor, as they remain in large part in Native American communities. By capturing this community spirit, Silko has created a novel that, while completely Native American and tribal in form and content, transcends any cultural, racial or ethnic barriers and succeeds at interacting with the reader. Any reader.

Works Cited

Abrams, MH. A Glossary of Literary Terms, 6th ed. USA: Harcourt Brace

Riding Blind in Taylor’s Riding a One-Eyed Horse

Riding Blind in Taylor’s Riding a One-Eyed Horse

As with human friendship, the bond that exists between humans and animals can sometimes contain secrets. The hidden mysteries between humans and animals are ironically open because humans tend to talk about the inward discrepancies of their pets with others in front of them. In the poem, “Riding a One-Eyed Horse,” by Henry Taylor, the narrator creates a peaceful tone that flows throughout the poem as he/she somberly instructs a potential rider how to ride his one-eyed beast. It’s questionable as to how much the horse understands this situation.

The first line grips the reader as the narrator states the horse’s present condition. To state that “One side of his world is always missing” allows the attentive rider or listener to enter into the personal and physical world of the horse. The rider must have been shocked to hear that the majestic beast had such a disability. The author plays with alliteration throughout the poem as he creates a buzzing whistle with the letter “s.” This sound can be associated with a whisper, and it…

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