What do you want to be when you grow up? A question that is always asked to a young child or young adult. You never truly know until you grow up and experience life for yourself. You live your life in search of what you like or don’t like; what you believe in or don’t believe in. Growing up and finding your way is something all children experience, but what if your way of life is already planned out for you? What if you have no decision over your future? This life burden is evident throughout the novel Bless me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya, the main character Antonio Marez did not have the ability to search for what he wanted to do in life. Antonio
Antonio’s conflicted nature isn’t resolved or even slightly relieved by his mother. In fact, she only seems to further increase his religious ambivalence due to her wish of him becoming a man of prayer even though the he will be devoting his life to a being that only seemed to have failed him during the times that he needed him most. Maria might have good intentions of deciding the path for her own child but she is on the other hand arguably a mother who thinks her every decision is the only true way which in turn not only affects Antonio but the whole family as well.
Hardship in childhood can cause children to be wise beyond their years. A child 's experiences are what shape their future, making them evolve both mentally and spiritually. In Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya, Antonio’s system of beliefs is greatly influenced by the perception of God that is instilled in him mainly by his mother. His understanding of God is forced to evolve as Antonio goes through many experiences throughout the course of the novel, including the tragedies that befall Narciso, Florence, and Ultima and his exposure to these characters. God is a being that is characterized by his punishment of those who sin and his protection of those who do not. As the events in this novel unfold, Antonio sees on many occasions how the God that he believes in does not perform the roles that he believed he did.
Many symbols are in the presence of an innocent child such as a golden carp god or being watched over by the owl of a “witch”. Rudolfo Anaya’s Bless Me, Ultima is a story of how a boy who wants to discover who he truly is; Antonio struggles with the conflicting blood of his parents’ opposing natures running through his veins. The symbols that Antonio comes across cause him to question his faith and try to discover his destiny, such as the god causes him to question if he was praying to the wrong god. Mental conflicts such as this are what make this book important in Chicano literature as it is expressive of the problems that Chicano’s face because of their mixed culture, leaving them to feel lost and alone.
This is highlighted in the beginning of the book where Antonio has a dream of his birth where his mother and father’s family begin arguing about who he will become. “This one will be a Luna, the old man said, he will be a farmer and keep our customs and traditions…” (Page 5) Maria’s family believed that Antonio will become a farmer also later on the old man even stated “Perhaps God will bless our family and make the baby a priest”(Page 5) On the other hand, Gabriel’s family stated “He is a vaquero...His forefathers were conquistadors, men as restless as the seas they sailed and as free as the land they conquered..” This dream foreshadowed the conflicts that Maria and Gabriel’s relationship would face since their way of living are completely different. Although they have a family, although they are a couple they do not take the time to understand each other and find common ground to do what is better for the family as a whole. For example, Gabriel wants to move to California but what awaits for them over there? A better home? A better lifestyle? happiness? or is it just to be able to move from where they have been so long? On the other hand, Maria puts this expectation on Antonio to become a priest but how will this make Antonio happy, how will it help him face the obstacles as an adult or is it just to fulfill Maria’s longing for a priest in the family? They have their eyes set on these perfect outcomes of life without knowing how they will get there and
Initially, Antonio 's family in itself experiences major discrepancies with beliefs in different religions. Antonio 's mother, Maria Maréz, (formally a Luna), has a strong monotheistic belief in praying to the Virgin of Guadalupe and is very active in her catholic faith. Antonio 's mother would always make them pray and often times,“after supper [they] always prayed the rosary… [she] had a beautiful statue of la Virgen de Guadalupe” that they would kneel in front of and sometimes pray to for hours on end (Anaya 43). Maria had a strong belief that
She tried to assure him a good future with his mother money and even though this is not how it was all the time. This is how she acted until Enrique had to leave because of his attitude and her age. Maria has curly brown hair and is seventeen years old. Maria was shuffled from home to home as a child and also is separated from her parents like Enrique. She is a hard worker.
There are plenty of ways that life choices affect the way a person grows up. In Bless Me, Ultima, Rudolfo Anaya conveys how growing up affects the mind of a young child by his introduction to different religions, when he questions his innocence, and lastly when he witnesses the death of people that cares for. Through coming of age, Anaya argues that one must lose innocence to fully understand life.
A bildungsroman is a coming of age story usually dealing with maturity and spiritual knowledge. An example of such a story is Bless Me, Ultima. In this story, the protagonist, a young boy named Antonio Márez, is trying discover his true self and find independence while battling the dark forces of sin. The novel shows how he matures and gains knowledge from the many obstacles that he encounters. In the novel Bless Me, Ultima, Rudolfo Anaya uses plot devices and symbolism to illustrate the protagonist’s loss of innocence.
Puritans and reformers of seventeenth century England have been given a bad name for their part in history. This is primarily because they were working against the grain and trying to create change in world that saw change as a threat. The time period was turbulent and there was bound to be resistance in a world that was dominated by Catholics and those that had reformed to abide by their King’s law. The puritans of the time were considered extreme and rubbed people the wrong way because they wanted a world that abided by their morals and ethical codes. For this, they took the blame for the misery that many suffered during this age, but as we see in Fire from Heaven, this is not a fair assessment. The Puritans of this time wanted to improve the lives of the people and society as a whole through morality and purity.
The relationship between Mariam and Laila grows overtime into an unbreakable love. Mariam is a vulnerable character that experienced hardships and negativity throughout her life. Her reliance on faith and religion gave her hope. Laila however, has had a positive upbringing from modern parents. Her education is what made her a strong and intelligent girl. Their personalities contrast to bring the best out of each other. However at first, in fear of being overshadowed by Laila, Mariam says “If [Laila] thinks [she] can use [her] looks to get rid of me, [she is] wrong. [Mariam] was here first. [She] won't be thrown out” (225). As Mariam has never been a priority to anyone in her life she was very defensive over her role in the house. As jealousy embarked upon Mariam,
When Maria was wondering why the South African men were scared of them, it was clear how sheltered and brainwashed she was. It was then that she realized how unexposed she was and began to become more involved in the efforts to make a change.
Mariam struggled often with the constant rigor of her daily housewife work. As a child, Mariam encountered many horrific adversities and obstacles that she had to fight through. She lived with her mother, who she refers to as Nana. Nana was a very strict, bitter, and nasty woman. Mariam was the only thing she had in her life and she constantly treated her as dirt. She referred to Mariam as a harami, which translates to a sinner and/or a bad person in our culture. Her mother’s source of bitterness derived from the fact that Mariam’s successful father Jalil
Mariam has a basic understanding of justice. She believes that she does not have it, will not have it, and even that she does not deserve it. The beginning of the novel
Monogatgari style stories involve a man of higher social status falling in love with and/or lusting after a woman of low social status. That is what could be considered in those days a “forbidden love”. One of Gengi’s first loves was a woman who was serving in the court named Fujitsubo. Fujitsubo was all that Gengi thought he wanted in a woman and was referred to as “Princess of the Radiant Sun”. The emperor merely thought it was just Gengi acting like any boy his age would around a woman like Fujitsubo, but Gengi felt that it was more than that, and he never forgot her for the rest of his life, even after he had married. Readers begin chapter two learning of the numerous affairs that Gengi has had and continually works to keep secret. With