deals with a short story “Lullaby” (), written by Leslie Marmon Silko, and presents the author’s a sensitive, yet, an intensive depiction of consequences. According to Suzanne Lundquis, the three forms of this trend are: Reclamation of heritage through literary expression; Discovery and. Despite the tragedies that Ayah experiences, she finds healing powers in her memories of her loved ones and in the lullaby she sings to herself.

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Retrieved December 26, from Encyclopedia. In all of her work, Silko is interested in representing the storytelling style of the Native American oral tradition in the form of written English.

These actions add class oppression onto the conditions of racial oppression from which Ayah and her family suffer. For Ayah, life is a cycle.

InThe American Indian Religious Freedom Act was passed by the federal government as a commitment to protecting and preserving tribal rituals, which are often tied to sacred ground in specific locations.

The old army blanket becomes even more significant in the end of the story, when Ayah wraps it lulaby her husband as he lies curled up to die in the snow.

When a white man comes to the door to inform them that their son Zilko has died in the war, Ayah is unable to understand him; her husband Chato has to translate for her. The cultural oppression of Native Americans in general is indicated through the personal losses Ayah has suffered at the hands of white culture. Includes a forward by Leslie Marmon Silko.

Introduction & Overview of Lullaby

Because she blames him for the loss of their children, Ayah no longer sleeps with her husband after that point. It covers five centuries of conflict between Native American and European cultures, focusing on a mixed—race family. The blanket also reminds Ayah of happier times, sitting outside while her mother wove blankets on a big loom and her grandmother spun the yarn from raw wool.


The grandmother is significant as the generational link in the matrilinear culture whereby women pass on tradition in the form of stories. The story ends with the lyrics of karmon traditional lullaby, which Ayah sings to her estranged husband as he, passed out in drunkenness, freezes to death under the transcendently beautiful night sky.

The section deals with the need for stories as a means of survival.

University of Nebraska Books, What should, conventionally speaking, be empowering, the utilization of language, becomes an instrument of oppression. In singing the lullaby, Ayah carries on an important element of Native American culture, as embodied in language. The lullaby she sings to her husband at the end of the story, as he lies dying in the snow, brings the oral tradition full circle, as she recalls this song that her grandmother sang to her as a child.

In llullaby story, Silko is concerned with the ways in which storytelling can heal and transform the experience of loss—both personal and cultural. She briefly attended law school, but left in order to pursue a career in writing.

Silko is associated with a generation of Native American writers which emerged in the s, in si,ko has been called the Native American Renaissance in literature.

A number of federal acts aimed at protecting and preserving Native American cultures have gone into effect, including the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of InCongress passed the Archaeological Resources Protection Act, which protects Native American cultures from the removal of cultural artifacts by archaeologists and other collectors. Shortly before Chato dies, as they are walking together in the snow, Ayah looks upon him as a stranger, her sense of alienation from him is so great: Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.

Loss of traditional culture, loss of native language, and loss of family are each brought about by her encounters with white culture. When he determines that Chato is too old to work, he evicts them lulkaby their house.


Ceremony follows the central character Tayo, who, returning from combat in World War IImust reconcile his personal experiences in the war with his traditional Native American heritage. The book as a whole is concerned with the oral tradition of storytelling in Native American culture. While much of the story is told in terms of these reminiscences, the present tense of the story finds the old woman searching for her husband at the local bar.

ESSAY CEMETERY: Lullaby by Leslie Marmon Silko – Summary

The verb that is storytelling, that is the interaction of text and reader, is where meaning is made. This is an important element of the story, because Silko is particularly interested in the ways in which the oral tradition is passed on from grandmother to granddaughter.

When the silk doctors, and then the BIA maron, come to take their two young children away from them, it is again Chato who must communicate to Ayah that she has unknowingly signed the children away to the white people. He dies, as Ayah sings him a lullaby. Marmmon of California Press,pp. A collection of essays by Native American writers on Native American identity and the writing process. Their grandmother had died of tuberculosis, and they claimed the children had contracted it as well.

Includes biographical information on Leslie Marmon Silko, as well as critical essays on each of her major works. This is what the text wishes upon readers, a life comprised of stories with which the reader constantly interacts.