The Man to Send Rainclouds by Leslie Marmon Silko

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Critical Overview

(Short Stories for Students)

Michael Loudon maintains that ‘‘The Man to Send Rain Clouds" "testifies to the essential role of storytelling in Pueblo identity, giving the people access to the mythic and historic past and relating a continuing wisdom.’’ In Silko's novel Ceremony, one character notes, ''At one time, the ceremonies as they had been performed were enough for the way the world was then. But after the white people came, elements in this world began to shift; and it became necessary to create new ceremonies. I have made changes in the rituals. The people mistrust this greatly, but only this growth keeps the ceremonies strong ...’’ A. LaVonne Ruoff sees this theme as central to ‘‘The Man to Send Rain Clouds.’’ Per Seyersted views the story as an example of Silko's ability to perceive life from a dual perspective: as a Pueblo and as a mixed-blood person who can perceive Laguna from the outside. Some critics believe that this story may become one of the classics of American literature.