Bless Me, Ultima Essay
The Struggles of Antonio
In the beginning, Antonio is only six years old. He is at the center of a conflict between the Márez values of his father and the Luna beliefs of his mother. His father would love for him to become a cowboy, but his mother desperately wants him to become a priest. “ Once I had told my mother about my dreams, and she said they were visions from God and she was happy, because her own dream was that I should grow up an become a priest.” (4) All throughout the book he works as a helper to Ultima. “ We walked together in the llano and along the river banks to gather herbs and roots for her medicines.” (15) He takes in her wisdom concerning life and all of the things she does. As the story goes on, Antonio is torn between sin and morality and the truth about religion. “... I learned from her that there was a beauty in the time of day and in the time of night, and that there was peace in the river and in the hills.” (15) Eventually, he decides to find his own path in life and create his own religious faith.
There are many different conflicts Antonio has to face as a young child. For instance, the Luna and the Marez. The Luna side of the family are the farmers. They worship the earth and the moon and live along the river. The Marez side are the cowboys. They worship the sun and are all about their horses and roaming free across the lands. “The men of the llano were men of the sun. The men of the farms along the river were
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In the novel a pathetic situation was created when Tenorio kills Ultima’s spiritual owl. Actual life was created when Antonio was stuck in a dilemma to choose what path he was going to take when he grew up.
Many of Antonio’s dreams foretell future incidents. In the first dream, the night before the arrival of Ultima, Antonio is born and both sides of his family gather together for the arrival of the baby boy. The two families express their hopes and desires for the
This sets up the initial conflict for Antonio, he wants to believe in his mother's God, but at the same time he finds conviction and truth in what Samuel is telling him about the golden carp god. Furthermore, while Antonio is supposed to be praying to God he says, "There wasn't time to discover Him, like I could do when I sat on the creek bank and watched the golden carp swim in the sun-filtered waters" (233). I think this shows that Antonio feels a deeper connection to nature and the golden carp than he does to God and traditional values. He is more like Ultima, than like either one of his parents. The golden carp offer Antonio a way of thinking that is free and unstructured, unlike that of Catholicism.
Ultima is the towns “curandera” who is staying with the family and everyone in town thinks she is a bad witch. Antonio seems to adapt to Ultima quite quickly soon after she arrives and starts learning her way. He is seen looking up to her as if she were a mother figure and, at some point, as if she was the Virgin de Guadalupe. Antonio often finds comfort in Ultima and confides in her regarding his faith. Antonio then witnesses Ultima save his uncle when the evil twitches had done some bad witchcraft on him that nearly led him to death. Antonio then begins to see that the God he was raised to believe in is not the only one in power. Ultima comes in to place and teaches Antonio that he doesn’t have to pick one belief, rather he can identify with a little bit of both. Before Ultima’s death in the book, Antonio asks Ultima for her blessing and she is more than happy to do so because she did everything she could have to prepare him mentally to find the real
As the novel proceeds, Antonio begins to spend most of his time with Ultima and his friends and less time shielded by the protection and comfort his parents and home have to offer. This time away from home serves as the catalyst to Antonio’s development into a man. The road to adulthood/becoming a man is filled with potholes, broken traffic lights and has no speed limit. In other words, it is everything but easy. On this road you hear things you don't want too , you see things you wish you hadn't, and you experience things you never have before. It must have been the coldest days of the summer
While Maria enforces her beliefs on the entire family, Gabriel isn’t much of a religious man. Gabriel was a vaquero, a free man with nothing to bound him, his limits were about as far as the eye can see. He was a Marez. Even though Gabriel was of the Marez bloodline he was still under the control of Maria. His inner beast was held inside a cage like a lion held in the zoo. He was at the top, but now he is just a fraction of a man of who he used to be. To be on display for all. Antonio is reminded that he is both Luna and Marez. At Antonio’s birth the Marez family came and stated with conviction (Anaya,70) “Gabriel, they shouted, you have a fine son! He will make a fine Vaquero!” Antonio felt even more pressure now that he had to decide whether to become a priest or a vaquero. If he becomes a priest he might become a man with the power of God’s influence in his hands
It is inevitable that certain moments in your life will affect how you think and act forever. These epiphanies can occur anywhere and anytime throughout life, whether it be when you're an immature child or a fully developed adult. The sudden realization can be shocking and life changing or so miniscule that you don’t realize the change within yourself. In Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya, Antonio at the young age of seven, encountered many situations that caused his perceptions of reality to alter. Many factors such as death and the introduction to secular ideologies caused these epiphanies to arise.
experiences, result in the loss of innocence. Even though it was tough going through all these events, Antonio receives strength that will assist him extremely throughout his life, with fights and revelations. His incidents have developed the brawny, grown man he will soon be. Transformations are always needed for us to be fully grown, even though it can be hard and
Another example of Antonio's sense of development in good and evil is his home. It is means a lot to Antonio, because the people living in it makes him feel protected and provide warmth to him. When Tenorio and his men came to his house to take Ultima away, Antonio’s father "You walk on my land! That is my business" (Anaya 130). This make Antonio feel that he would be protected by the presence of his father., Gabriel. However, Antonio's mother made home very fond and ardent for him. She had always been affectionate towards him and would show him care. Most importantly, Ultima was the one who contributed to the goodness of Antonio's home. She made Antonio feel as though her presence filled the home with love and safety. It was Ultima who calmed Antonio down after he had seen Lupito die. Whenever he had a nightmare, Ultima would always be right beside to comfort Antonio and " could sleep again" (Anaya 34). Ultima's fearlessness against Tenorio and his three daughters made Antonio feel that he would be safe wherever Ultima was. Overall, the
To start off, Antonio is always under pressure from certain people that want him to do specific things in hopes of him securing the future of his people. This ties into conflicting cultures, which plays an important role when it comes to Antonio’s early life since his actions are defined by the conflicts between the Luna and the Marez. The Luna are the devoted farmers who worship the earth and the moon, while the Marez are very free-spirited vaqueros who are extremely devoted to their lifestyle and horses. Being a Marez is what causes Antonio’s three older brothers to go into the world and leave there family behind. “It was true, I thought, it is the Marez blood in us that touches us with this urge to wonder. Like the restless, seeking sea” (40). His brothers chose a path that Antonio is struggling to pick and cannot seem to identify with. This is a big deal because Antonio is only in the first grade and he is being pressured into growing up faster than he should be.
Antonio Marez- A young boy who is torn between his parents: a Marez and a Luna. But with the help of Ultima, he discovers his own destiny. He thirsts for knowledge: he is a curios boy, an outstanding student, and a questioning worshiper.
Ultima is an old curandera, which means healer in spanish, who comes to El Puerto to live with the Marez family after she is left alone in the town of Las Pasturas. When she arrives and turns to greet him, Antonio feels awestruck. According to Antonio, he “felt the power of a whirlwind sweep around me (Anaya 12).” A series of events occur throughout the story which makes Antonio overprotective of La Ultima. For instance, when Antonio and Ultima go to his grandfather’s house to cure his uncle, “Some women bowed their heads, other made the sign of the cross (Anaya 104).” Crossing your forehead in front of someone who is helping your family is a sign of disrespect. I feel that if I were Antonio, I would feel very offended because Ultima is my friend and nobody should be disrespected in front of the people you care for the most. As Antonio grows, he finds himself questioning his religion and comes to accept that everything is not what it seems. For example, Antonio realizes that the people of the town can be very judgemental and will blindly follow anyone because they fear the unknown. Antonio has to deal with is brothers who are led astray by the prostitutes of the town and their unrealistic dreams. After the war ended, his brothers came back, but with different plans for themselves. They leave because they want to be free, but I believe that they chain
There is a silent conflict between the both the Lunas and the Marez because the Lunas and natural born farmers, they are noiseless, simple people who keep to themselves, whereas the Marez are wild and outgoing people, they have to be moving around to remain satisfied. Both parents want different destinies for their son Antonio. Maria wants her son to become a priest, on the other hand, Gabriel wants his son to become a vaquero. Throughout the course of the novel,
Bless Me, Ultima is a story about the maturation of a young Mexican-American boy, Antonio M’arez, struggling with many questions about his destiny, life and death, and good and evil. Ultima who comes to live with Antonio becomes his caretaker and his teacher. Antonio learns there are powers in the world that differ from his beliefs in the Catholic faith. Ultima teaches Antonio “that the tragic consequences of life can be overcome by the magical strength that resides in the human heart”. Ultima shows Antonio how to experience the magic of life with his heart and not with his eyes. For the first time, he sees the river not as something to be feared but as a source of life, “I had been afraid of the awful