Literary Analysis Essay on Tonys Story by Leslie Marmon Silko

Published: 2021-07-21 09:57:11
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Leslie Marmon Silko, the author of Tonys Story, can be perceived to recover the beliefs and cultural values that have ceased to exist in the associated culture. Through the story, one gets to have a view of the experiences of the Native Americans due to their cultural affiliations. The story includes two friends, Leon and Tony, who belong to the Native American community. In summary, the boys hold the conviction that the White trooper purposes to persecute them by which they end up shooting him after he ambushes them and then burn the troopers body in his patrol car. The analysis puts into the view the cultural significance of Tonys Story by Leslie Marmon Silko on the different cultural attitudes exhibited by Tony and Leon.

The difference in cultural attitude by Tony and Leon is illustrated with Tony viewing Leon to have lost touch with his culture after returning home from his duties in the army. He views him to have estranged from his tribe. However, Leons anticipation to the Corn Dance performance, which is a Pueblo ritual, provides Tony with the assurance that Leon still aligns with his culture. Leon states, They asked me to dance tomorrow- its only the Corn Dance, but I hope I havent forgotten what to do, (Silko 362). Tony illustrates his relief by stating, I was happy because I knew that Leon was once more a part of the Pueblo (Silko 362).

The difference in cultural attitude is also illustrated with the affiliation that each boy has to the Pueblo culture. Tony can be viewed to be more traditional when compared to Leon. After Leons confrontation with the unnamed trooper, Tony appears to be disturbed with the incidence in addition to the stories that he has heard about witches. He has a dream that includes the state trooper. He states, The big cop was pointing a long bone at methey always use human bones, and the whiteness flashed silver in the moonlight where he stood. He didnt have a human faceonly little, round, white-rimmed eyes in a ceremonial mask (Silko 363). It can be perceived that the cop appears to be a witch in Tonys dream is affiliated with his deep connection with his culture.

The difference in cultural attitude is also illustrated with Tonys belief that Leon does not comprehend the nature of his problem. Tony insists that Leon must wear an amulet for protection purposes. Leon tells Tony, You dont believe in that, do you, (Silko 365) with the view that a rifle has all the capability of putting the enemy down. Tony backs his beliefs by responding that, But you cant be sure it will kill one of them (Silko 365). Therefore, it can be viewed that Tony believes that Leon does not comprehend the nature of his problem.

The difference in the cultural beliefs of the boys is also exhibited at the end of the story with the behavior of the boys after the troopers death. The cop follows the boys in his patrol car with the aim of harassing them. He makes it clear in the story that he does not like Indians. When he manages to stop them, Tony tells Leo, Weve got to kill it, Leon. We must burn the body to be sure, (Silko 366). He also states that he wishes that Teofilo would be present for him to chant the words required in such a situation as they killed the cop. Tony then shoots the cop in which Leon becomes surprised. Leon states, My God, Tony, Leon cries. Whats wrong with you? Thats a state cop you killed (Silko 366). Tony tells him, Dont worry, everything is O.K. now, Leon. Its killed. They sometimes take on strange forms (Silko 366). It can be perceived that the difference in cultural attitude sunders their communication and hence becoming two different people despite being from one culture.

As stated earlier, the analysis puts into the view the cultural significance of Tonys Story by Leslie Marmon Silko on the different cultural attitudes exhibited by Tony and Leon. The difference in cultural attitudes is exhibited by Tony viewing Leon to have lost touch with his culture after returning home from his duties in the army; the affiliation that each boy has to the Pueblo culture; Tonys belief that Leon does not comprehend the nature of his problem; and the behavior of the boys after the troopers death. Through the story, Silko revives some aspects of the Native American culture regarding festivals such as the Corn Dance and the belief of the supernatural that includes the witches.

Work Cited

Silko, Leslie Marmon. Tonys Story. 1974. Rpt. In Nothing but the Truth: An Anthology of Native American Literature. Edited by John L. Purdy and James Ruppert. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2001. 362-66.

 

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