Bless Me Ultima Essay, Research Paper
Bless Me, Ultima
1) Bless Me, Ultima is fitting because the main character Antonio learns and is blessed by Ultima, a curandera. If I had to rename the book I would probably name it “The walk with the curandera”. Antonio bonds with and learns the beliefs of Ultima.
2) The author of Bless Me, Ultima Rudolfo A. Anaya is a U.S. author and is from Mexico and she is still alive today.
3) The major characters in the story are Tenorio, Ultima, and Antonio. Tenorio in the story plays the role of a barber and a saloon manager in town he is the Antagonist character because he believes that Ultima is a witch because his daughter became ill and died and her owl took out his eye. Ultima is the protagonist character because she is an elderly curandera who comes to live with Antonio?s family. She is a healer and her powers are misunderstood as witchcraft. She never allies herself with one religion and believes that all beliefs have some knowledge in them. Ultima helps Antonio deal with conflicts that deal with religion and cultural heritage. Antonio is the protagonist character because he is the main character and the novel deals with him being raised in Spanish heritage. He witnesses three deaths and numerous conflicts between his friends. Ultima teaches him that he has to learn to make his own choices and take responsibility for them.
4) Some minor characters in the story are The Vitamin Kid, Red, Father Byrnes, Cico, Florence, Gabriel, Lupito, Narcisco, Ms Maestas, Samuel.
The vitamin kid is one of Antonio?s friends and is the fastest runner in Guadalupe and constantly races Antonio across the bridge to school every morning. Red is a friend of Antonio and receives criticism from the other boys because he is a protestant. Father Byrnes is a priest and gives catechism lessons to Antonio and his friends. He constantly teaches the boys to fear God rather than about God. Cico is a close friend of Antonio and is quiet and gentle. He takes Antonio to see the Golden Carp a pagan god that lives in the river. Florence is a friend of Antonio but doesn?t believe in God but still attends catechism lessons. Gabriel is one of Maria?s brothers and he wants Antonio to become a vaquero in the Marez Tradition. Lupito is a war veteran suffering from a sickness and accidentally shoots Chavez brother the local sheriff. A mob comes and shoots him at the river. Narcisco is known as the town drunk but still has a good heart. However he is deep and passionate with the llano and plants by the cycles of the moon like Antonio?s uncles.
Ms Maestas is Antonio?s first grade teacher she knows Antonio doesn?t speak English well but he has a desire to learn she promoted him to the third grade at the end of the year. Samuel is the vitamin kid?s brother he is gentle and tells Antonio about the golden carp.
5) The book starts in Las Pasturas in New Mexico during the 1940?s or post world war two. The book starts when they find out that Ultima is coming to
stay with them. Antonio?s mother wants him to become a Luna and become a priest his father wants him to become of the Marez tradition and become a wanderer.
6) Antonio the main character struggles with the conflict of what tradition he will follow in. His parents are from two different backgrounds and they each want him to become of their beliefs. Other conflicts exist such as mistaking Ultima?s powers to heal as witchcraft. There is also Florence who challenges the beliefs of the Catholic Church. Antonio is presented with many different belief systems the Catholic Church, the Marez tradition, the Luna’s, La curandera, and the Golden Carp. These conflicts exist today many times parents want their children to believe in what they do and follow in their footsteps. Sometimes people need to learn to let their children make their own choices about what they want to believe in.
7) The basic situation is that we have a boy named Antonio who is trying to decide which traditions and morals he will adopt. A healer named Ultima comes to stay with Antonio and his family and teaches him a totally different view of life and how to respect nature. Antonio and his friends wittiness numerous deaths. In chapter two Antonio gathers herbs and begins to become harmonious with nature. He also witnesses the death of Lupito because he killed the sheriff because of his war sickness. Antonio then begins to wonder about sin and punishment and the fate of people?s souls. In chapter four Antonio learns to love the llano and the river. The climax is reached when Antonio first takes interest in Ultima?s beliefs when he asks the earth to give him their goods because Ultima or no other outside force asked him to do that he did it on his own. This lead to the resolution of the story where he did not follow in either one of his parents footsteps but instead he adopted the beliefs of Ultima and became a curandera.
8) Some of the symbols used in the story are the Owl, moon, The Golden Carp, and the bridge. The owl is symbolic to Ultima?s soul it was with Antonio all the time it watched over and protected him. The moon is symbolic to farming because the Luna planted their crops by the phases of the moon. The Golden Carp is symbolic to a pagan god it opens up a window as to what the history of the people was and leads him into questioning ideology. The bridge is symbolic because Antonio always crossed it to go to school it represents him growing up and crossing different paths and phases in his life.
9) The protagonist character Antonio tells the point of view. He is telling the story as it happened to him. The syntax and grammar is very complex because of the way the author phrases certain areas of the book and because of the use of Spanish and quotes throughout the novel. There are slang Spanish words such as Chingada or ah la veca.
10) I believe the theme of the novel is to teach that you need to decide and discover your own path for life. You do not need to follow in the footsteps of your parents. It shows that not one religion has all the answers to the questions of life and that you need to go out in the world and find out what is best for you.
11) “You have done evil, but good is stronger than evil, And what you sought to do will undo you”(P.101). This is Ultima speaking after she healed Uncle Lucas she is saying that the spell that was cast on Lucas will go back to them because what goes around comes around. “I stood still for a long time. I realized that the owl had been with me throughout the night. It had watched over all that had happened on the bridge”(P.23). Ultima?s owl is really her soul and that is how Ultima knows what Antonio is doing and that is how she knew what happened to Lupito without being their. “For Ultima, even the plants had a spirit, and before I dug she made me speak to the plant and tell it why we pulled it from its home in the earth”(P.39). Ultima is teaching Antonio to respect the earth and that if you do it will yield it?s full potential this is similar to the beliefs of the Luna’s. “This war of the Germans and the Japanese is reaching into all of us”(P.49). Antonio?s brothers have just returned from World War Two and this quote is explaining how this war is effecting the rest of the world.
12) This book is relevant to today’s society because their are still parents today that try to force their beliefs and expectations on their kids. This book looks at a variety of religious beliefs and ideologies from different points of views and explains what they are. This book is relevant because it shows some of the conflicts you can face as you are growing up and trying to find your place in this world.