Picking up on what I wrote a few posts back, I think Silko's narrative style is fascinating. She reveals what she is doing, I think, through Root's internal dialog: "Calabazas calls it 'Indian style' when he talks and talks before he turns at the last moment, to the point he wants Root to get . . . over the years Root had learned that there were certain messages in the route Calabazas took when he talked" (215).
In this complex web of stories, all tied somehow to Tucson, Silko is taking us somewhere, and leaving "certain messages" along the way through character development and the plots within the novel. It's Indian style, my friends.
I think that Berna is onto something when she talks below about the fucked up characters. These people are messes. Can anyone choose the most fucked up character? I sure can't. I think the three characters with visible redeemable qualities so far are Sterling, Root, and Calabazas. And really, Sterling is the only one who isn't a drug dealer. And he's self-medicating through magazines.
I think if we accept Berna's premise about the legend, these characters are Silko's Indian style way of showing us how much of a mess European (for lack of a better word) influence has made of the Americas (and Africa -- I'm reading that book now, and haven't gotten through it enough to comment). These folks are on a head-on course toward self destruction, or they're sociopaths. We've hit rock bottom, and there's nowhere to go but up.
Calabazas says a few telling things: "Those who can't learn to appreciate the world's differences won't make it. They'll die" (203); and "But once the whites had a name for a thing, they seemed unable ever again to recognize the thing itself./ The elders used to argue that this was one of the most dangerous qualities of the Europeans; Europeans suffered a sort of blindness to the world" (224).
Is Silko's certain message here that all you have to do is look at these people to see that we've (everyone -- we're all participating in this European, for lack of a better word, hell) pretty much ruined everything and that things have got to change?
That's all I've got for now.