“The Man to Send Rain Clouds” Leslie Mormon Silks wrote “The Man to Send Rain Clouds” in 1969. The story details the death of an old Indian named Teflon. During one point of the story Leon prepares Topsoil’s body for burial. Leon proceeds to paint Topsoil’s face yellow. In the Native American Culture the color yellow stands for mourning or death. Teflon may be dead, but Silks presents him as a transitional character going through the three stage process. Silks uses the three stage process to demonstrate the importance of vying a full life and leaving a lasting impression upon the world.
The first stage of the process is Separation. Separation is the character moving away into the unfamiliar. Teflon is literally, physically separated from his tribe. In the beginning of the story Teflon is found dead in the sheep pasture under a tree. Teflon was an old shepherd who tended the sheep alone at night. Silks presents Teflon as a lonely, neglected, poor man. “They found him under a big cottonwood tree. His Levi Jacket and pants were faded light blue so that he had been easy to find. The big cottonwood tree stood apart from a small grove of winter bare cotton woods which grew in the wide, sandy arroyo.
He had been dead for a day or more, and the sheep had wandered and scattered up and down the arroyo. ” Silks illustrates the tree as being isolated from the other trees because it parallels Topsoil’s separation from the others. “The people stood close to each other with little clouds of steam puffing from their faces. ” The next stage of the process is transition. Transition is the character going through trials and tribulations that stimulates personal growth ND knowledge. Topsoil’s burial process is his Journey of change.
Teflon went from being a weathered lively old man to being a fragile decomposing corpse. Topsoil’s fragility and age is illustrated when the young people dress him in his burial clothes. “He looked small and shriveled, and after they dressed him in the new shirt and pants he seemed more shrunken. ” “They laid the bundle in the back of the pickup and covered it with a heavy tarp before they started back to the pueblo’ The other characters do not even look at Teflon as a human anymore. Topsoil’s death transitioned other characters as well. But there he was, facing into a cold dry wind and squinting at the last sunlight; ready to bury a red wool blanket while the faces of his parishioners were in the shadow with the last warmth of the sun on their backs. ” Throughout the story the priest transitioned from religious to spiritual. Teflon taught the Father Paul the importance of having a spiritual life. Teflon transition was physical and spiritual. The last stage of the process is reintegration. Reintegration is the character turning to the place where he started or a better place than where he started.
Teflon returned to the earth from which he came from. “They lowered the bundle into the ground, and they didn’t bother to untie the stiff pieces of new rope that were tied around the ends of the blanket. ” In the King James Version of the bible it is stated in Genesis chapter thirteen verse nine, “By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return. ” Teflon is returning from what he was made from. I believe that Silks wrote
I know life is short. I have seen many people die in my twenty years of life. After I read this short story I went to visit my mom’s grave. It seems that after you die no one remembers you. I wandered through the older part of the cemetery fixing headstones. So many were turned over, broken and abandoned. I wondered where the decease’s loved one was. The optimism in me wants to believe that I will leave a lasting impression on the world around me. In reality I will probably die and be ergot as soon as my casket hit the bottom of my grave Just like Teflon.
I think that Silks is trying to inspire her readers to live fully because one day it will all be over. I want to leave this world a better place. Also another question is, “Can someone give a greater gift from the beyond then from life itself? ” I’m sure the rain did come and replenish the crops so that the Indians had plenty of food and agriculture to sell. Teflon gave a greater gift to his tribe then what he would have been able to give them during life. Teflon also gave Father Paul the gift of Spiritual learning.
After watching the burial Father Paul realized that religion isn’t the only thing in life. Father Paul expanded his view on death and life after death because of Teflon. Teflon gave everyone a greater gift then what was expected. “The Man to Send Rain Clouds” shows readers how life after death really is. At one point or another everyone ponders how the world is going to react in response their death. I think everyone should read this story because it really changes ones perspective about death after life. “The Man to Send Rain Clouds” will motivate and fresh you outlook on life.
After reading this a reader will respond to life in a more conscientious way. This story could improve the quality of our world if it was well- known. “The Man to Send Rain Clouds” is an inspiring tale of death.