Having knowledge and wisdom comes with a price and is not easy to handle when everyone is afraid of you for having so much knowledge. In the book, Bless Me Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya, Ultima, a curandera, is seen as an evil, old witch who uses her magic against others. In actuality, she heals Lucas even when she is accused, got rid of the 3 Indian ghosts harassing a family, and tells Antonio she accepts her death because she accepted to dedicate her life in the service of others when her owl died. While some may say Ultima is just a “bruja” and a mad witch who uses black magic, I believe she is actually a wise and kind character and knows many things that others do not. She is ready to help anyone even though she is accused.
Many people in the town love Ultima. They praise her and can’t thank her enough when she cures one of their loved ones. While many love and praise her, a select few in the town believe that Ultima is a witch and of ten accuse Ultima of it. One of these is Tenorio Trementina, the father of the three Trementina sisters who put a curse on Lucas, Antonio’s uncle. Even Antonio, who loves Ultima very much, once doubted if Ultima was really a witch or just a curandera. Some of Antonio’s classmates have also called Ultima a witch. Tenorio often besieges Ultima. Despite all this, Ultima is still very strong and remains strong until the day of her death. Ultima is also very brave strong. She is not threatened when Tenorio threatens to kill Ultima or when people make the sign of the cross to see if she really is a witch.
The books thesis is based on why a person was accused of being a witch and the relative circumstances thereof. Marital status, sex, community standing, wealth, and relationships with others all play an important part of a person chances of being accused of being a witch.
Bever clarifies why he believes historians often focus only on the rise of witchcraft rather than their decline. He believes the reason this occurs is because, historians assume “their defeat seemed self-evident” (Bever, 2009, p. 264). The author explains how the rise of witches occurred, “chain-reaction trials started with a few stereotyped suspects but gradually widened to include previously unsuspected commoners and eventually friends” (Bever, 2009, p. 272). Bever also gives discusses of how witchcraft came to affect the society and how it became “an integral part of late medieval culture and society” (Bever, 2009, p. 288). The work relates more specifically to the field of the first centuries of colonization because, although some ideas presented in this article can be inferred, most are not that of the general
Ultima throughout the story shows signs of being a curandera rather that being a witch. When Ultima is first introduced she is described a curandera who knows her herbs: “Ultima was a curandera a woman who knew the herbs” (P4 L12). Ultima is a Curandera because curanderos in our world heal people using the herbs they know and find in the forest or plains which perfectly describes Ultima as she helps and cures Antonio's family using herbs as well. Furthermore, there is a video Tittled “The Curandera” which is about a Curandera and her practices as a curandera which the central character states
Topic of Choice: Cite and Analyze three specific characters or events which lead Tony 's’ revelations that would later foster his religious ambivalence
Ultima’s role as demonstrates how Chicano culture is a mixture of multiple, conflicting influences. When Spanish Catholics arrived, they claimed curanderismo is a form of witchcraft. Thus, they killed those that practiced the act. But their interaction brought about a mixed culture where curanderismo existed in harmony with Catholicism. Anaya shows this religious blend by describing Antonio’s mother as a devout Catholic who also respects the Ultima’s powers.
After reading the book, Bless Me Ultima, I realized the integral importance of religion and need for religion and answers to life’s questions. At first, while reading this book, I thought it was just about relationships and the meaning in them but as the plot progressed I realized the book, is more than that, it questions the structures that decide the rules, morals and values that society is composed of. There were three types of religion that I identified in the book that young Anthony chose to pursue. The first was the paganistic rituals of Ultima. Ultima came into the life of Tony at a very young age and had great influence n the child. Ultima saved the life of Lucas through Tony’s
In the book “Bless Me Ultima,” by Rodolfo Anaya, the role of duality goes very into depth with its many controversial topics. Some of these topics include the contrast between Catholicism and indigenous mysticism, good witchcraft and evil witchcraft, and men and women. Since Antonio must struggle to find his own identity and place he must battle between his family, beliefs, and self. This can be seen between his parents, who’s frequently conflicting views make it difficult for Antonio to accept either of their belief systems, his struggles between the English and Spanish language, and how evil and good affected his innocence.
Ultima's Christ like nature is displayed through her abilities, or powers as a curandera to perform miracles. Ultima's powers are shown in the text as being good; although, it is confusing to say whether her powers are coming from Christianity, or witchcraft? To illustrate the issue of this comparison to Christ, Antonio's mother recalls Ultima's powers saying, "I have seen her work miracles. She learned from the flying man from Las Pasturas"(Anaya 85). The incongruity of this statement to that of Christianity is clear cut. According to the Dictionary of Hispanic Biography, Anaya acquired the myth and superstitions from his family who lived in Pastura about a women like Ultima, who could heal (42). From Anaya's experience, syncretism of miracles and elements of superstition in folk Catholicism is apparently true. However, the only one to perform miracles in Christianity is Christ.
The witchcraft phenomenon of the Renaissance period was shaped by a wide range of cultural factors; witchcraft was not necessarily subject to a single cohesive idea or concept, and it was often instead a conglomeration of many different societal concerns, concerns which spanned through all spheres of society. Textual evidence from this period provides insight into the way in which witches were conceived, and how witches were dealt with, while visual images present a companion visualisation of the tensions, which influenced created the witch, and the imagery, which came to be associated with witchcraft.
Only a few books dare to discuss the confusion surrounded by a religious awakening. In Bless Me Ultima, Rudolfo Anaya, Premio Quinto Sol national Chicano literary award recipient, challenges standard religion and brings in different ideas through the perspective of a young and confused boy. Due to the new ideas that he is introduced to, the events that occurs especially deaths, and his eagerness for knowledge all leads Antonio to question his religious beliefs. At the end of his struggle to understand, the boy reaches the peace of mind he was seeking.
At first glance, Befana and the “evil”, haggard witches previously discussed in English literature appear to be identical individuals. However, upon taking a closer look, one would realize that Bafana is everything the stereotypically evil witch is not despite the fact that they are physically comparable down to the broomstick. Italian children would not regard her as an evil character, they rather relate her to Santa Clause during Christmastime. Her cheery nature and gift giving abilities overcome all judgments about her appearance, transforming her into the beloved “good witch” Italian Christians esteem today. Curiously enough, even though the witches discussed in English literature take after a very similar appearance, they are not esteemed and certainly not celebrated. This uncovers a sense of hypocrisy among the Christian history that will certainly be discussed further on in the essay. Opposing opinions in the elderly due to cultural and religious backgrounds cause society, such as in the Puritan and Italian cultures, to produce different fruits of the matching image of a witch.
The perception of the image of the witch has encountered a drastic shift which signals an acceptance of the woman in society, for what she is, a liberation. The witch is another name for