Essay on Finding One's Self

Decent Essays
Finding One's Self

Throughout Rudolfo Anaya's novel, Bless Me, Ultima, Anaya presents the reader with the complications and difficulty of cultural identity and in the end suggests that a person can draw from several cultural traditions instead of just one in particular. The main character, Antonio, is the guide to Anaya's lesson. Antonio's parents, Ultima, and even his town present him with different situations and ideas that contributes to his identity.

In the first chapter we are introduced to Antonio and his family. Antonio is a young six-year-old boy and lives in his Spanish village. Antonio himself is not a full fledge Latino. His father had been a vaquero all of his life, "...a calling as ancient as the coming of the
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His mother's lifestyle on the other hand, emphasizes strength, efficiency, and family, which manifest them to move to Guadalupe. Even at Antonio's young age his future already conflicts between these two contrasting alternatives.

When Ultima enters his life Antonio seeks her advice and wisdom as guidance towards his confusing identity crisis. Ultima brings great balance to this story by guiding Antonio through life. " And I was happy with Ultima. We walked together in the llano and along the riverbanks to gather herbs and roots for her medicines. She taught me the names of plant and flowers, trees and bushes, of birds and animals; but most important, I learned from her, that there was a beauty in the time of day and the time of night, and that there was peace in the river and the hills. She taught me the mystery of the groaning earth and to feel complete in the fulfillment of its time. My soul grew under her careful guidance" (15). This statement made by Antonio shows how much affect Ultima has on his life. It gives examples, such as, the love for nature, relaxation, and spiritual oneness, which help Antonio identify with his fathers love for the llano.

In the fourth chapter Antonio is once again guided by Ultima. In this chapter Antonio finally realizes that he does not have to choose between his two parents conflicting heritages. Instead, he can incorporate both of them into his life.
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