Silko's short story "Lullaby" lends itself well to close reading and analysis. "Lullaby" is a story whose themes can be interpreted in many different ways. After close reading "Lullaby", I came to the conclusion that the feelings of the protagonist, Ayah, presented the theme of fear and the ability of other feelings to conquer fear. .
The plot of the story centered on the life and experiences of a Navajo woman named Ayah. The story began with Ayah in the later years of her life. She was sitting by a creek and waiting for her husband. Ayah began to reflect on her past and her children. The short story was full of flashbacks which described the death of her son, Jimmie, who joined the United States military and died in a helicopter crash while serving the country. The flashbacks also relate the details surrounding the removal of Ayah's two children, Danny and Ella, from her home by the white people. Ayah and her family were poor and lived in a small boxcar shack on a ranch. Her husband, Chato, worked on the ranch with the cattle. Ayah and her family, along with the other Native Americans, had grown to fear the white people that had taken over their land. Near the end of the story, Chato lost his job when the white man who owned the ranch fired him because Chato was too old to do enough work to please the white man. Ayah and Chato were then left very poor and were forced to live on the small amount of money that they received from the government. In the later stages of the story, Ayah grew to be angry with the white people rather than fear them. .
The short story followed typical dramatic development. The story's orientation consisted of the first paragraph. In this paragraph, the reader was told several things about the story. The time was during the winter in the later years of Ayah's life, during which she had flashbacks to her younger days. The place where Ayah sat and reflected on her past was called Cebolleta Creek.