The main character in the short story “Tony’s Story” by Leslie Marmon Silko is Tony. The events are told from his point of view. Leon is another important character in the story. Tony and Leon are two young Native Americans living on an Indian reservation in New Mexico. They are friends, despite their different beliefs and problem-solving skills. Tony and Leon represent two opposing viewpoints. While Tony, who has never left the reservation, is superstitious and used to oppression and knows there is no point in complaining, Leon believes his people have the same rights as white people and wants to be treated with respect.
The state cop is another important character in the story. His hatred of Native Americans leads to a conflict with Tony and Leon. The two Native American men are frightened by the cop who abuses his position of power to harass them. As it feels impossible to escape the cop’s persecution, Tony begins to see the cop as a monster or the embodiment of an evil spirit. The cop is more important as a symbol than a character, as he is meant to represent racial violence by someone in a position of authority and the effects it can have on its victims.
You can read a full characterization of Tony and Leon in the following pages.