73 pages 2 hours read

Leslie Marmon Silko


Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1977

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Essay Questions

Use these essay questions as writing and critical thinking exercises for all levels of writers and to build their literary analysis skills by requiring textual references throughout the essay.

Differentiation Suggestion: For English learners or struggling writers, strategies that work well include graphic organizers, sentence frames or starters, group work, or oral responses.

Scaffolded Essay Questions

Student Prompt: Write a short (1-3 paragraph) response using one of the bulleted outlines below. Cite details from the text over the course of your response that serve as examples and support.

1. Consider the ways in which Emo holds white people in high esteem and disparages Indigenous culture.

  • How does Emo’s admiration of white America manifest in his appearance and mannerisms? (topic sentence)
  • Identify 3 passages in the novel describing Emo and discuss how they illustrate this internalized racism.
  • In your concluding sentence or sentences, discuss how Emo’s hatred of Tayo relates to his emulation of white America.

2. Consider the importance of women in Ceremony.

  • How do women impact Tayo’s journey? (topic sentence)
  • Compare and contrast how Night Swan and Ts’eh interact with Tayo, using at least 1 passage about each to support your claims.
  • In your concluding sentence or sentences, discuss what the role of women in Tayo’s healing journey suggests about the role of women in Laguna Pueblo society.
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