Rudolfo Anaya’s Bless Me, Ultima
In Rudolfo Anaya’s Bless Me, Ultima, the author uses Tony’s dreams as a way of displaying various symbols. Three symbols that are used often are weather, water, and the Golden Carp. Weather is used to represent conflict. Water represents cleansing, and rejuvenation. The Golden Carp symbolizes religion and Tony’s beliefs. Because dreams are not an exact mirror of reality, they become the perfect tool for introducing symbolism. The author uses the dream as a way to access the recurring themes of the book.
Weather affects the lives of everyone. When the weather turns foul, it makes life more difficult. Stormy weather in Tony’s dreams represents the conflict in his life, and the lives of those around …show more content…
His desire is to be washed clean from the haunting memories if Lupito’s death. Another reference to water is the waters of baptism. In Tony’s dream his parents argue about what water he was baptized in. "Oh please tell me which is the water that runs through my veins." (Anaya120) The waters of baptism represent cleansing, but in the dream his parents argue over whether he was baptized with the holy water of the moon, or the salt water from the oceans. This represents his parent’s pulling him in two opposite directions. Later in this dream Ultima explains to both of Tony’s parents that in reality both of their waters are the same. This shows that Tony is rejuvenated by the idea that he dose not have to choose between one parent or another, but can take the best of both of them. Because of the water Tony is able to live his life better. The final example of water being usedas a symbol is in one of
Tony’s final dreams. He talks about his brother’s livers, " They cried in such pain for release that I took their livers from the hook and cast them into the raging, muddy waters of the River of the Carp. Then they rested, and I rested." ( Anaya 235) This quote shows that because Antonio can not stop his brothers from their reckless wondering he instead casts their livers in to the river.
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A theme is the prime element of literature, which contains the central idea of the story. It helps reflect on the characteristics that a story might have and reflects on observations interpreted from our view of the author. The theme, a main idea or underlying meaning of literary work may be stated directly or indirectly, but it is ultimately our job to figure it out. Throughout any story, short story or poem you can see the constant change of imagery that will play a big part in the development of the characters ability’s to demonstrate the theme. In “The Storm” by Kate Chopin, the theme illustrates many sexual desires, adultery, and happiness as well as shows a theme of conflict. Chopin uses a storm to represent sexual passionate tension that builds throughout the story between the two main characters Alcee and Calixta.
Kanoza writes therefore that it is when Anaya's protagonist “comes to comprehend the kinship of the golden carp and Christ and he realizes the obvious-that as the offspring of his mismatched parents he is living proof that opposites can integrate” (Kenzo, 166). In this sense the myth of the golden carp serves simultaneously to embody and also eventually to overcome the contradictions within the novel as a whole. The capacity of myth to provide the ground for reconciliation is made clear in the final passages of the novel, in which Anaya's protagonist reflects on his capacity to use the story of the golden carp as one element of new religion. This religion would be that is capable of containing but also of potentially sublimating religions that have come before it. One reads him asking himself asking whether not “take the llano and the river valley, the moon and the sea, God and the golden carp-and make something new” and coming to the conclusion that “that is what Ultima meant by building strength from life” (Anyata, 1994, 248). The most important realization of the novel is that contradictions may be overcome through an interaction with the myths of the past, but only in the sense that such an interaction enables a synthesis from which something new may emerge. It is the realization of the capacity for this synthesis which marks out the most important aspect of Antonio's self knowledge at the end of the
God versus Golden Carp: Another dichotomy that is important is God versus Golden Carp. Antonio begins to doubt the God he worships and starts to maybe believe the God of the Golden Carp when the priest and the doctors could not heal but the Ultima could. I also believe he starts to believe more in the golden carp when he has communion but still feels empty inside where it is said that god will fill the
Furthermore, his dreams influence his belief of religion. In one of his dreams it shows God as unforgiving and punishing. God tells Antonio that “vengeance is mine” (173). Towards the end of the dream, the Golden Carp appears as “ such beautiful brilliance that he became a new sun in the heavens” (176). The Golden Carp seems much more positive than the Catholic God because of how the different God was described as in his dream. Antonio believes more of the Golden Carp rather than God because God punished people while the Golden Carp “swallows everything good and evil…and…becomes…a new sun to shine its good light upon the earth” (176). In the first dream, it mentions of another power, describing it as the presence of the river. Antonio asks to save his brothers but “…sparks flew when [he] spoke. It is the presence of the river” (26). This foretells that there is another great
Through Rudolfo Anaya's Bless Me, Ultima, the reader notices many themes. One central, and very important theme is the repetition of the number three. For example, there are three sources of understand for Antonio, three deaths that Antonio witnesses, and Antonio's three prophetic dreams. These all play crucial roles in both Antonio's life and serving to further the plot.
Rivers provide life in the most desolate of places. They bring the frigid, sky-fallen rain from the frozen mountain lakes to the sunbathed ocean, and give life and sustenance to every ecosystem and civilization on their path. However, in Bless Me, Ultima, the river is a symbol for the experience of life, more than just breathing and moving. Antonio’s river is his life, and it flows through his story just as his life does.
In addition, Tony’s mother Maria was a staunch catholic who desperately wanted her youngest son to become a priest to a small community of farmers. Her roots were in farming and living off the land (having a mutually benefiting relationship-being connected to the land). She prayed during times of family toil constantly. Tony has a dream after his brothers beckon him into a whorehouse to sleep with the women at “Rosie’s House.” He refuses the offer and affirms that he will preserve his innocence in order to become a priest in the holy catholic faith. His brothers mock him. They try to tell him that in being a man and the son of a vaquero his need for bodily pleasure will become stronger. Here is where I believe Tony accepts the destiny that his mother supplies for him as a man of god, but again his faith in this religion fails. He feels that his catechism will protect him from being corrupted and that god will reveal himself during this ceremonial rite-but nothing happens. He thought that when he partakes in this ceremony all will be revealed to him, but it is not.
In the story where Ultima visits, Antonio feels that he will become a priest. He is to follow his family's rules of becoming a priest. They are strict Catholic and his mother practices her religion very strictly. Antonio not only witnesses, but becomes a part of, Ultima's cure for Uncle Lucas. Uncle Lucas is dying, and the Priest's past attempts to save him had failed. When this occurs Antonio starts to not believe in his religion. Then, the family turns to Ultima as a last resort. It is like he has taken some of the burden of the pain off Uncle Lucas, helping him overcome his illness. Ultima's cure ends up saving Lucas' life, and Antonio becomes a part of it. “Your son lives!” says the old man. (103) The Priest failed where Ultima did not, this really upsets Antonio: "The power of the doctors and the power of the church had failed to cure my uncle. Now, everyone depended on Ultima's magic. At this point, Antonio begins to doubt his destiny of becoming a priest. Later on, Antonio learns the story about the golden carp from another boy his own age. Antonio sees the golden carp, which means he is one of the magical people in the town. Not everyone can see the golden carp; the golden carp is considered a pagan god.
In the first chapter of The Great Gatsby weather symbolizes the feelings and emotions that the characters are expressing. For example, “And so it happened on a warm windy evening I drove over to East Egg to see two old friends whom I scarcely knew at all (Fitzgerald ch.1).” In this quote we can notice that it is a warm windy evening. This relates to Nick’s emotions because he is feeling happy about meeting his old friends but nervous at the same time. In addition, weather is also used to set the mood of the story. “A breeze blew through the room, blew the curtains in at one end and out the other like pale flags, twisting them up toward the frosted wedding-cake of the ceiling, and then rippled over the wine-colored rug, making a shadow on it as wind does on the sea.” (pg.8). Fitzgerald describes the breeze in a very detailed way to show Nick’s peace and calmness. The wind to descibe not usr nicks emotionns but the beginning of a new journey.
Florence wasn’t all that religious but he went to church anyways just to hang with his friends. Animal, I thought. Were the fish of the golden carp happier than we were? Was the golden carp a better God? (Pg. 197). This was Tony and Antonio talking about god and how he wasn’t reliable that it wasn’t bad to have knowledge outside of religion. Florence is just a small kid and he believes that isn’t looking over him. He does not believe in God because he lost his parents at an early age so he thinks that God is to blame for all of his misfortunes. Florence was found at the river where the carp swam floating motionless he had drowned. My attention was centered on the northern blue skies. There two hawks circled as they rode the warm air currents of the afternoon. They glided earthward in the wide, concentric circles. (Pg. 241). These hawks could symbolize the freedom, that maybe Florence was finally free from his torment that he has while he was alive. Florence was also a child when he died so he was pure of heart he did not commit mortal
This time I will be talking about the tone. The overall tone is supposed to be ominous as shown by the storm mainly. Generally a stormy background is supposed to cause the image in the reader's head that it is gloomy and scary. It almost is there like you can’t see what is happening, like anything could sneak up on you. In a storm you can’t hear what is creeping up you cause the sound of the rain covers it and you never know
Weather affects the lives of everyone. When the weather turns foul, it makes life more difficult. Stormy weather in Tony's dreams represents the conflict in his life, and the lives of those
In the natural world, weather is unpredictable and can strike at any moment. However, in literature the author has the power to decide when a storm will hit. As explained in Thomas C. Foster’s How to Read Literature Like a Professor, the author always has a purpose behind a weather occurrence. Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger has instances of snow and rain that undoubtedly serve a deeper meaning than just drenching the protagonist. The instances of snow and rain in Catcher in the Rye bear symbolic representation of struggle, which ultimately leads to a cleanse.
Antonio learns about the golden carp from Cico, a friend of his. According to Cico, the golden carp was once a god who loved the people of Antonio's town, Guadalupe. The people were not allowed to fish for the brown carp that lived in the river that flowed around the town. These fish were sacred to the gods. However, because of a drought and no food, the people had to eat the carp to survive. This angered the gods. They wanted to punish all the people by death but "they relented from killing the people. Instead, they turned the people into carp and made them live forever in the waters of the river-". The god who loved the people wished to become a carp like them to protect them from the dangers of the river. The gods agreed and "because he was a god they made him very big and colored him the color gold". Antonio cannot believe there is a new god and seeks answers from Ultima. Ultima is pleased that he has learned so much, but says she cannot tell him what to believe for he must decide for himself. The Golden Carp represents all the questions Tony has about religion and morality. Tony’s confusion is due to conflicting forces in both these aspects of life. When Cico first introduces the Carp to Tony, he is forced to make a tough decision, “Do you believe the Golden Carp is a god?” which he skillfully evades until he has the information he wants to make his decision. After the emergence of the Carp, Tony begins to question his