The Man to Send Rainclouds by Leslie Marmon Silko

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Characters

(Short Stories for Students)

Grandfather
See Teofilo.

Ken
Ken is the brother-in-law of Leon and a minor character in the story. Like old Teofilo and Leon, he also believes in following Indian ways, and he helps his brother-in-law any way he can.

Leon
Leon is Teofilo's grandson. He manages to integrate American-Indian ways and Christian ways; he is a Christian who still respects his roots and cultural heritage. He smiles as he paints his dead grandfather's face according to the Native-American custom and believes that the old man's spirit will bring rain. He is a man of few words and has a calm, strong sense of dignity. After finding Teofilo's body, Leon does not talk about it. At home, Leon informs his family of Teofilo's death with few words. The fact that he is able to persuade the priest to sprinkle holy water at the grave site with a few well-chosen words—without argument—reveals his character.

Louise
Louise is Leon's wife. Efficient and capable, she plans Teofilo's funeral and suggests to Leon that it would be appropriate to use holy water to symbolically quench the thirst of the old man. Although her part is minor, it is her suggestion that triggers the culture clash in the story.

Father Paul
Father Paul is a young Catholic priest struggling to lead a parish on an Indian reservation. He has affection and respect for his parishioners, as seen in his concern for old Teofilo. He also understands that the spirit of the law is more important than the letter of the law. Although he is troubled by the persistence of Indian customs in his parish, he learns to adapt to them. When Leon asks him to use holy water at Teofilo's burial...

(The entire section is 432 words.)