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Giving Words Life

            Leslie Marmon Silko is a Laguna Pueblo Indian who has written many stories of how Indian life and the lives of "white" people have interconnected. Silko does not adhere to a specific style of writing, such as MLA because she feels that it takes away from what she is trying to say. However, she does have a way of pulling the reader into her stories and holding their attention. Silko tells the stories that her ancestors have told for centuries. They gather in groups and each member who knows the story adds what they remember. The act of storytelling is what Silko attempts to recreate in her stories. Through the use of word structure Silko wants the reader to hear and feel the tone and speed of the storyteller behind the story.
             In the first story, "Lullaby", Leslie Silko tells the story of an Indian woman's struggle to survive in her land that has been invaded by "white" people. Ayha, is a strong willed woman who overcomes great emotional obstacles. Her husband dies, her children are taken away, and her new husband losses his job and spends their government check on alcohol. They end up sleeping outside in the cold every night sharing a blanket that her first husband, Jimmie, gave to her. .
             Silko uses dashes and italicizing throughout her paragraphs to mark changes in the storytellers approach to telling the story. The first being the dash, Silko writes: "Jimmie's blanket - the one he had sent to her" (Lullaby 1138). The storyteller at this point is giving the reader an object or an idea and then explaining it further. The reader can relate to this because when storytellers tell a story, they sometimes stop and explain themselves. It's a kind of pause to explain to make sure the listeners understand and are following. .
             The second device that Silko uses is to italicize words to show a change in the storyteller's tone. The lullaby she sings to the old man at the end is written in italics.

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