Literary / Critical Approaches to Ceremony

Literary / Critical Approaches to Ceremony

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Natural.’ will offer a focused analysis of Ceremony from the perspective of a literary scholar/ critic. You will need to adopt one of the critical perspectives included in Peter Barry’s Beginning Theory (see a,b,c below) and, in using the methods associated with that perspective, you will explore an important issue or theme in Silko’s novel. The perspectives you may choose from include: a. Feminist Criticism (Beginning Theory 121-123, 134) You might, for example, consider how and why Silko: seeks to “revalue women’s experience” by creating strong and powerful women characters; or how Silko seeks to “challenge representations of women as ‘Other,’ As ‘lack, as part of ‘nature’” (Barry 134). b. Postcolonial Criticism (Beginning Theory 192-194, 199) You might, for example, consider how and why Silko: “foreground[s] questions of cultural difference and diversity”; or how she “celebrate[s] hybridity”; or how she represented “states of marginality, plurality and perceived ‘Otherness’ … as sources of energy and potential change” (Barry 199). c. Ecocriticism (Beginning Theory 248-252, 264) You might, for example, consider how and why Silko “celebrates nature, the life force, and the wilderness” (Barry 249); or how Silko presents nature as “actually present as an entity which affects us” (Barry 252); or how Silko advocates “ecocentric concepts” such as “growth and energy, balance, and imbalance, … and sustainable or unsustainable uses of energy and resources” (Barry 264). In your introduction you should directly address (and cite) Peter Barry’s description of what this kind of critic “does” and make a the direct connection between Barry’s general description of the method and what you plan to do in your essay. In the course of your analysis of Ceremony you must also incorporate a relevant point from at least one of the following secondary texts: • Comer, Krista. From “Sidestepping Environmental Justice: ‘Natural’ Landscapes and the Wilderness Plot.” • Newman, Ira. “Virtual People: Fictional Characters through the Frames of Reality.” • Stein, Rachel. “Contested Ground: Nature, Narrative, and Native American Identity in Leslie Marmon
Silko’s Ceremony.”

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