Nature Of Man Essay, Research Paper
Man, in defining himself religiously, chooses from beliefs that contribute to the identity he molds, an identity that differentiates him from the norm of society. In Bless Me Ultima, the author Rodolfo Anaya addresses the battle against conformity man endures while trying to discover what he believes in spiritually. Anaya conveys the idea that the battle should be a confusing struggle in which man recognizes his uniqueness, but in which he also discovers that the values and beliefs of family and society can greatly influence what he ultimately believes to be valid.
Anaya expresses the first idea of religion through la gente s legend of the golden carp. To Antonio this god is more believable to him for two reasons, the first being that they both can physically touch the god. The second, that he along with his friend can actually see the fish, implying the idea that seeing is believing. To Antonio this god is easier to believe in because it is tangible, concluding that this god is the most effective and rational. He is more apt to believing in the carp because this religion does not require faith that the god really does exist.
Anaya conveys the idea that many believe in a religion that requires faith. Antonio’s mother is the prime representation of this idea because she devotes a majority of her time and effort into praying to her god for the return of her sons from the war. Although she cannot physically touch or see her god, it is her faith that drives her to believe her god really does exist and that he will answer her prayers. Antonio witnesses that his mother s faith lead to the return of his brothers from the war. He concludes that if he prays for what he wants and upholds faith, through thick and thin, that this god will answer his prayers, and lead him to salvation.
Anaya combines the two previous ideas to create Ultima, who stands as the third and final representation of religion and beliefs. She is essential to novel and to Antonio s ongoing battle to conclude what he believes in. Anaya throws in the idea that Ultima is just a normal human and her power comes from a higher power because she constantly prays with Antonio’s mother. Ultima is the living proof that is needed in order for people to have faith. Concluding that the god does exist because Antonio can actually see the work of the god through a her.
In his work Anaya never states or implies on which of the ideas of religion he stands, but he does exemplify the idea that belief in a religion is a positive idea. He emphasizes the importance of spiritual growth to those who are clear as to what they believe. Tony, like man must choose his own path of salvation and tackle the task to assess the possibilities of religion and decide for himself what he will adopt as his own set of beliefs. Anaya sums up his idea through the thoughts of Antonio, to take life s experiences and build strength from them.