Tony Hillerman's The Ghostaway Essay

1005 words - 4 pages

Tony Hillerman's The Ghostaway

In a country that is the melting pot for many cultures, it is hard to interact with all of them. Tony Hillerman educates readers about one culture, the Navajos, through his novel, The Ghostway. After a shooting occurs in the quiet Indian reservation, a Navajo police Jim Chee, officer overcomes many obstacles physically, mentally, and spiritually to sort the case out and protect a young girl. He is constantly struggling with his identity, whether or not he should continue living his life as a Navajo or cross over to mainstream “white” life. Although the book’s main plot is about a murder and police investigations, a theme that the book is always making references about is cultural differences and how these mere differences can make things rough on people’s lives.

     The Navajo culture is contains a lot of symbolism, filled with many beliefs, rituals, and traditions that are excluded only to Navajos which makes their interactions with the outside difficult. After a death in a Hogan, the Hogan has to be setup in a way to protect the ghost. When Jim Chee first went down to the Hogan he noticed what had happened, “ He could think of just one reason to block a Hogan’s smoke hole.”(18)The Navajo tradition is very spiritual and believes in spirits of the dead, they prepare the Hogan in a way so the spirit can do no harm to anyone so the block the smoke to keep the spirit inside.. Since he was raised not to enter a dead Hogan it stopped him from really doing his job and investigate the scene. This shows how the Navajos beliefs are so different and philosophical compared to way of life in the city. When Chee is eating at a diner in the city of L.A. he finds it intriguing that it is difficult to figure out the ethnic identity of the waitress, “ On the big reservation, where people were scarce and scattered, one tended to lump them into categories.” (146) Chee compares how the people from where he is from are not stuck into categories but are all the same. He was not use to seeing so many different races and it was hard for him to distinguish what race is what. Chee also found it to be complicated when it came to see life through other ways rather than the Navajo way because it was so different form what he was used to and he can not make the change.

     A way that the author also showed cultural differences is through the character Vaggan, a white hit man that wanted the death of those around him. There are times in the book where the author would tell the story from the point of view of Chee to the point of view of Vaggan. During the first meeting between Chee and Vaggan the author does this where Chee is called “ an indian” instead of by...

Find Another Essay On Tony Hillerman's The Ghostaway

Enlightenment Thought in New Zealand Schools

1594 words - 6 pages In this essay I will be looking at how the political and intellectual ideas of the enlightenment have shaped New Zealand Education. I will also be discussing the perennial tension of local control versus central control of education, and how this has been affected by the political and intellectual ideas of the enlightenment. The enlightenment was an intellectual movement, which beginnings of were marked by the Glorious Revolution in Britain

Psychological Egoism Theory Essay

2240 words - 9 pages The theory of psychological egoism is indeed plausible. The meaning of plausible in the context of this paper refers to the validity or the conceivability of the theory in question, to explain the nature and motivation of human behavior (Hinman, 2007). Human actions are motivated by the satisfaction obtained after completing a task that they are involved in. For example, Mother Teresa was satisfied by her benevolent actions and

How Celtic Folkore has Influenced My Family

1587 words - 6 pages Every family has a unique background that influences the way they live and interact with other people. My parents, who emigrated from Ireland to the States with my three brothers in 1989, brought over their own Celtic folklore and traditions that have helped shaped the way our family operates and lives. One aspect of folklore that has helped shape my family dynamic is the Celtic cross—both its background and what role it has played in our lives

Julia Margaret Cameron

1406 words - 6 pages At a time when women were looked upon as being homemakers, wives, mothers and such the late 1850's presented a change in pace for one woman in specific. Photography was discovered in 1826 and soon after the phenomenon of photography was being experimented with and in turn brought new and different ways of photo taking not only as documenting real time, but also conceptualizing a scene in which an image would be taken. Julia Margaret Cameron will

Evaluation of School Improvement

1403 words - 6 pages The evaluation process should be progressive to incorporate overall planning, implement changes, which contribute to success. In order to focus on school climate and norms, the evaluation design must include the students, instructions, and outcomes to improve communication and building-level concerns to be address in this response. School Climate and Social Norms The school principal, other staff leaders, and personnel set the tone and the

Case Study: The Benefits of Animal Testing

1757 words - 7 pages heart transplant that will save her life. The transplant goes extremely well and now Amy has the opportunity to go to high school and live a normal teenage life.  Like Amy, many lives are positively transformed due to the amazing surgery of organ transplants. Scientist and doctors are due the credit for this amazing procedure. However, often overlooked, is the fact that this fascinating medical procedure would not be possible without the use of

Myth and Magic: Realism in "One Hundred Years of Solitude"

1531 words - 6 pages “He enjoyed his grandmother's unique way of telling stories. No matter how fantastic or improbable her statements, she always delivered them as if they were the irrefutable truth” (Wikipedia, 2011). Experiences are particular instances of one personally encountering or undergoing something and in these moments of time life changes for the best or the worst and memories are formed. These recollections such as riding your first bicycle, going to

Adiponectin: a Novel Indicator of Malnutrition and Inflammation in Hemodialysis Patients

2384 words - 10 pages Objective Protein-Energy malnutrition (PEM) and inflammation are common and overlapping conditions in hemodialysis patients which are associated with increased risk of morbidity and mortality. Adiponectin is an adipocytokine which is exclusively produced by adipose tissue. Few studies in hemodialysis patients have demonstrated that serum levels of adiponectin were significantly higher in malnourished patients compared to well-nourished ones. The

The Congo Free State: A Legacy of Apathy, Exploitation and Brutality

2298 words - 9 pages Between 1885 and 1908, Belgium’s Leopold II ruled Congo, a region in central Africa, as his personal colony, exploiting the resources and inhabitants for his own gain. Leopold allowed and encouraged Europeans and other Westerners to enter Congo and set up companies whose primary purpose was to gather rubber, which was abundant but difficult to get to in the Congo, using the Congolese as the laborers for the Europeans. Rubber gathering in Congo

Selective Exposition in The Lottery, by Shirley Jackson

1073 words - 4 pages Usually when someone hears the word “lottery” the first thing that comes to mind is a large sum of cash that people compete against highly impractical odds to win. Shirley Jackson’s story The Lottery might imply a similar conception based on the title alone, but the story is filled with unknowns never revealing exactly when and where the story takes place, or why the lottery exists; even what the lottery is isn’t revealed until the very end. Yet

Lightning

1857 words - 7 pages INTRODUCTION I remember when I was a young child; I would always be scared whenever there was a severe storm outside that included thunder and lightning. This was especially true in the hours of darkness, when you could really see the lightning. As I grew older this so-called fear of lightning turned into a fascination for this weather phenomena. One of my most vivid memories of lightning as a young man was when I was flying to Florida, the

Similar Essays

The Anasazi Indians Essay

489 words - 2 pages The Anasazi Indians      From the scattered references made about the ancient Anasazi Indians in Tony Hillerman's A Thief of Time, one can identify several cultural characteristics of this mysterious tribe. One can discover how they lived, where they lived, their religion, simple day to day activities, and mysteries about their culture. Even though many references are made about this tribe, people will never know the

When The Bubble Burst Essay

1539 words - 6 pages By the time I arrived state side from my second tour in the Middle East the housing bubble had already burst. I noticed a drastic change in the way that many of my friends and family were living. Several of my friends that worked in real estate had sold their boats and seconds houses. My own stock portfolio had lost a third of its value. My sister and her husband had defaulted on their home mortgage leaving them scrambling for a place to live. I

Phase Diagram Essay

4456 words - 18 pages Introduction: Chemical equilibrium is a crucial topic in Chemistry. To represent and model equilibrium, the thermodynamic concept of Free energy is usually used. For a multi-component system the Gibbs free energy is a function of Pressure, Temperature and quantity (mass, moles) of each component. If one of these parameters is changed, a state change to a more energetically favorable state will occur. This state has the lowest free energy

Revolutionary Work Of Art Essay

1890 words - 8 pages Walter Benjamin emphasizes in his essay, “The Work of Art in the Age of its Technological Reproducibility” that technology used to make an artwork has changed the way it was received, and its “aura”. Aura represents the originality and authenticity of a work of art that has not been reproduced. The Sistine Chapel in the Vatican is an example of a work that has been and truly a beacon of art. It has brought a benefit and enlightenment to the art