Lullaby Topics for Discussion
by Leslie Marmon Silko

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Topics for Discussion

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

1. The 1970s, during which Silko's short story "Lullaby" was first written, were a significant time in the history of Native American struggles with mainstream American culture. Learn more about the political, cultural and economic struggles of Native American tribes from the 1960s through the 1990s. What national organizations of Native Americans are active today? What has changed as a result of these struggles? Was has not changed?

2. Many of Silko's stories address the issue of the role of tradition in contemporary Native American culture, and particularly the role of the storyteller. Read a short story by a different contemporary Native American writer such as Paula Gunn Allen, Louise Erdrich, or Sherman Alexie. In what ways does this author address similar or different issues within Native American culture? What role does tradition play in the story, as compared to Silko's story? How do the characters in the story reconcile Native American tradition and history with the conditions of contemporary Native American life?