Student Question

What are some Native American issues depicted in Silko's "Lullaby"?

Expert Answers

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There are a couple different issues you could use.  This is a short story about traditions and change, and it's a story about death and loss.  Ayah's children are taken from her, and when they do come back to visit, she sees that they are slowly changing and no longer remember her or her language.  The white people who are taking over the land and area are also taking over the traditions.  At the end of the story she has little left in tradition except for the lullaby she sings her dying husband.

Along with losing her husband, Ayah's son goes off to fight in the white man's war, and she loses him in a helicopter crash. Loss is also obviously when her children are taken away.  You can use any of these and develop them for your teacher/discussion.

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