In Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko, is Tayo edging toward failure or healing? What is the author trying to communicate with the section that describes Tayo hitchhiking up Highway 66 until he runs out of money?

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Tayo is edging toward healing. We know this in part because his healing is foreshadowed by the story he instinctively tells during the rain. The story, told while trying to hold on to the blanket in the driving wind and rain, associates him with the story-teller and the Thought-Woman who...

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Tayo is edging toward healing. We know this in part because his healing is foreshadowed by the story he instinctively tells during the rain. The story, told while trying to hold on to the blanket in the driving wind and rain, associates him with the story-teller and the Thought-Woman who introduce the story of Tayo. This association points to life, thus to healing. In their beginning story, "he said":

I will tell you something about stories,
[he said] ...
They are all we have, you see, [...]
I keep them here
[he said] ...
See, it is moving.
There is life here
for the people.

During the war, before the fading like "white smoke," before the "white corn sand painting" circle, before the ceremony, before the vision quest, we learn of the story Tayo instinctively told in the heat of war:

[Tayo] made a story for all of them, a story to give them strength. The words of the story poured out of his mouth as if they had substance, pebbles and stone extending to hold the corporal up,...

With this foreshadowing and association in place early in the novel's structure, we know that throughout his struggles and quests, Tayo is edging toward healing and that in the end he will be healed: a ceremony, as spoken and thought of by the story-teller and the Thought-Woman, will heal him: "I'm telling you the story she is thinking. / Ceremony."

Even though Tayo does not know it himself, he is a seer and a visionary who instinctively feels the story that needs to be told to give "life" to his people, even when his people are in the midst of a shocking war; even when his people are fellow soldiers; even when his people comprise his fallen cousin Rocky.

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