The Man to Send Rain Clouds by Leslie Marmon Silko

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The Man To Send Rain Clouds Conflict

What is the external conflict in "The Man to Send Rain Clouds"?

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The Man to Send Rain Clouds, written by Leslie Marmon Silko, is the title story in a fourteen-story anthology assembled by anthropologist Kenneth Rosen. At its core, the central conflict in Clouds revolves around the clash between traditional Christian and Native American cultures, ultimately attempting to comment on both the significance and silliness of religious rituals.

The story, which takes place on a reservation in the Southwestern US, begins when two Pueblos—Ken and Leon—stumble upon the dead body of Leon's grandpa, Teofilo. They engage in a ritualistic ceremony that includes painting Teofilo's face, then sprinkling water and corn on the ground to supposedly provide nourishment for his spirit as it begins its adventure on the other side.

The clash of cultures manifests when Leon's wife asks a young Catholic priest named Father Paul to throw holy water on the grave. The priest initially declines to provide this service unless the whole burial is Christian; however, he eventually...

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