Tony’s Story Essay, Research Paper

In Tony’s Story, Leslie Marmon Silko uses Leon, Tony, and Teofilo to explain the genuine reality of the cop. The genuine reality of the cop is it is an “it,” standing for evil that brings drought to the Indian people.

Leon does not realize the genuine reality because he has become “white.” He asks if he can remember how to do the Corn Dance. “He grabbed my hand and held it tight like a white man.” The wine he was drinking broke, “and the paper sack floated in the wine and pieces of glass.” To fight the cop, Leon uses the governor and tribal council. Leon says, “I’ll kill the big bastard if he comes around here again.” Leon uses white man words like “bastard,” this is not part of the Indian vocabulary. Throughout the story, Leon refers to the cop as just a big, bulling cop. “Let’s go–the big cop inside.” “He’s behind us–the cop’s following us!” Leon starts caring a .30-30 saying, “What’s the matter, have they brainwashed you into believing that a .30-30 won’t kill a white man?” When the cop is shot, Leon says, “That’s a state cop you killed.” Tony doesn’t belong in the story because he is not “Indian,” therefore he sees the cop as a cop and a white man.

Both Tony and Teofilo see the cop as “it.” Throughout the story Tony refers to the cop as it. “He was wearing dark glasses and I could not see his eyes.” Tony has a dream in which the “the big cop was pointing a long bone,” and “He didn’t have a human face.” Tony is trying to explain that the cop is an it, but Leon just won’t listen. Tony says the it is “hidden.” Tony knows that a .30-30 won’t kill it because “you can’t be sure that it will kill one of them.” He knows he must kill the cop because “it fallows us everywhere.” After the cop is shot and burned inside the car, Tony says “It’s killed.” Tony knows that the cop is really “it.”

Tony and Teofilo both know the genuine identity of the cop. While Tony was having dreams about whiches, the ones Teofilo told, Tony realizes “why the drought had come.” Teofilo knows this too, and as the storyteller he must keep the stories alive. He tells this story so they are not forgotten because they are all they have left.

Leslie Silko uses Leon, Tony and Teofilo to explain the genuine reality of the cop. Both Tony and Teofilo see and know the cop is an it, but since Leon is a “white man’s Indian,” he cannot and sees it instead he views it as just a regular cop.

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