Bless Me Ultima Snippet Jounal Essay, Research Paper
Page 13 / Chapter 1 As Ultima walked past me I smelled for the first time a trace of the sweet fragrance of herbs that always lingered in her wake. Many years later, long after Ultima was gone and I had grown to be a man, I would awaken sometimes at night and think I caught a scent of her fragrance in the cool-night breeze. This passage is Important to the novel because It proves in the very beginning of the book what an impact this character, Ultima, has had on Anthony s life. It lets the reader become aware of her actions and presence, early on. It is also here that we get a first time sense of a magical, sensual setting. Page 15 / Chapter 2 I had been afraid of the awful presence of the river, which was the soul of the river, but through her I had learned that my spirit shared in the spirit of all things. But the innocence, which our isolation sheltered, could not last forever, and the affairs of the town began to reach across our bridge and enter my life. Ultima s owl gave the warning that the time of peace on our hill was drawing to an end. Through out the novel, water is sin associated. Here is where it is first presented to us, and it leaves the reader with a bad vibe about the river. This is even before Antonio even learned about the legend of the Golden Carp and the sins of the people sentenced to live in the river forever, thus later, this gives us a sense of supernatural power invested in Antonio. It also foreshadows the coming events in the novel, and gives us a beautiful metaphor, the town affairs of the town began to reach across our bridge and enter my life. It paints a picture for us that all had been well and peaceful at Antonio s home, but the town had been corrupt for a period of time now. And with Anthony attending school and seeing more of the town on a day to day basis, it allows an increasing amount of sin to be seen, heard and Commiting. This is also where we have the first glimpse of the supernatural power of Ultima s owl. Through the novel it attempts to protect Anthony s family against evil Page 33 / Chapter 3 She laughed. I am beginning to understand why your mother calls you the inquisitor, she said. But I want to know, there are so many things I want to know, I insisted. A curandera cannot give away her secrets, she said, but if a person really wants to know, then he will listen and see and be patient. Knowledge comes slowly- Here we are introduced to Anthony s inquisitive mind as he matures. This is a trait that Anthony portrays for the most part of the novel. This is also what gets him in trouble and causes his confusion with the three conflicting beliefs. He is eager to know EVERYTHING and asks many questions. Ultima s wisdom is also shown here. She has a way of talking to Anthony that makes him understand and listen more carefully. And due to this, Anthony grows a close bond to her. Page 39 / Chapter 4 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 it s home in the earth. You that grow well here in the arroya nut the dampness of the river, we lift you to make good medicine, Ultima intoned softly and I found myself repeating after her. Anthony learns many things from Ultima, and most important is the respect for ALL living things. When Anthony goes to collect herbs with her, he is taught that he is taking a life, and that he must give thanks to the plant s soul. Page 50 / Chapter 5 Then the owl cried; it sang to the million starts that dotted the dark-blue sky, the Virgin s gown. All was watched over, all was cared for. I slept. Here the owl is given a reference to the Virgin s gown (the stars). Anthony associates this with heaven and therefore the owl is good if it is singing to God and heaven. His mind is then at peace knowing that Ultima s owl is then in turn Good . Page 55 / Chapter 6 Once I did not make the sign of the cross on purpose. I challenged the wind to strike me. The twister struck with such force that it knocked me off my feet and left me trembling on the ground. I had never felt such fear before, because as the whirlwind blew its debris around me the gushing wind seemed to call me name: Antoniooooooooooo Because of Anthony s inquisitive mind, he offers to challenge God. When is struck by the whirlwind, he is scared and trembling, because he knows that he had sinned by doubting God, and he had just been knocked on his butt to prove it. Page 61 / Chapter 7 Give us your hand sweet brother. Give us your saving hand. We are the giants who are dying We have seen the land of the golden carp Then there was a loud crashing of branches behind me and I turned and saw the three dark figures looming over me. This passage is italicized because it is one of Anthony s dreams. In this dream the land of the golden carp represents sin. They have seen it, so therefore they have sinned. They reach out to Antonio in their attempt to save themselves. They tell their brother that they are dying, and in that sense, they are talking about their childhood innocence within them. The loud crash in the background is most likely the world around them falling apart. Anthony can only hear it; he is unable to see it. Then he turns to see his brother s around him looming over him. His brothers maybe dependent and eager for his help. Page 67-68 / Chapter 8 I mean papa s dream about moving to California, and mama wanting us to settle along the valley- he said. They looked at each other uneasily. All their lives they had lived with the dreams of their father and mother haunting them, like they haunted me. With this chapter comes a bit of understanding. Anthony, we now see is not the only child torn between the Lunas and the Marez. It is important that Anthony is not alone in making a decision between the two lives. Page 80 / Chapter 9 The gods were very angry. They were going to kill all of the people for their sin. But one kind god who truly loved the people argued against it, and the other gods were so moved by his love that they relented from killing the people. Instead, they turned the people into carp and made them live forever in the waters of the river- This is when Anthony is first introduced into the legend of the golden carp, a powerful and mystical story of the love of one god for his people. It s also here that Anthony s belief is split in three ways. It s also interesting that this can be translated into an event that happened early on in the novel. Let s say the many gods of this story equal the people of the town. They were going to kill a man named Lupito for the sins that he had committed. But one kind man, Narcissco who truly loved this man argued against it, but instead of turning them into carp, he was shot dead anyway. Later, Narcissco would also be killed and walk forever with Lupito in the land of afterlife. Page 93 / Chapter 10 Give me your face, Ultima demanded. Have you not the strength to face an old woman? Why do you keep your back to me? The thin hunched body jumped up and spun around. I think I jumped at the sight of his face because you are a bruja! Ultima laughed. Ay Tenorio, she said, you are as ugly as your dark soul. This is a remarkable event in the novel. I believe that Ultima brought Anthony along to confront Tenorio to show him that he need not be scared of this evil man. This passage shows the strength and courage of Ultima and her willingness to display it to the entire town. Anthony is taught an important lesson here: that evil will never prevail. Page 121 / Chapter 11 The waters are one Antonio. I looked into her bright clear eyes and understood her truth. You have been seeing only parts, she finished, and not looking beyond into the great cycle that binds us all. Then there was peace in my dreams, and I could rest.
This is an extremely important passage in the novel. In Anthony s dream he is given the answer to his burning question through the novel. Although he dose not seem to realize it until the end. The Virgin tells Anthony that he needs to step back and look at the big picture . It s almost like a mosaic, if you are close to it it s just fragments and colors, to see the entire picture, you have to step back and really look at it. Page 122 / Chapter 12 Ultima s cure and the golden carp occupied my thoughts the rest of the summer. I was growing up and changing. I had plenty of time to be by myself and to think and feel the magic these events contained. Again we are given the magical feel to the setting. Here we see growth and with growth always comes some kind of knowledge. His curious mind still wonders, but now with a bit less urgency, as we can see. Page 141 / Chapter 13 There the procession stepped and waited for the priest to appear. When he came out of the church Tenorio spoke to him and the priest answered. He held his arms out as if to bar entrance to the church and nodded his head. He was refusing the mass for the dead and holy burial in the campo santo. The air grew tense. There was no telling what Tenorio would do at this insult; everyone knew he was crazy enough to assault the priest. We get a good feel here for what type of person Tenorio is, and how the town perceives him. Anthony knows now that Tenorio is truly evil if he is not even let into holy grounds. Tenorio is established here bad , and for Anthony it is important because everything must be very black and white at this point. Page 176 / Chapter 14 In the lake the golden carpe appeared He and been witness to everything that happened, and he decided that everyone should survive, but in new form. He opened his huge mouth and swallowed everything, everything that was, good and evil. Then he swam into the blue velvet of the night, glittering as he rose towards the stars. The moon smiled on him and guided him, and his golden body burned with such beautiful brilliance that he became a new sun in the heavens. A new sun to shine it s good light upon a new earth. In this dream, it represents Anthony s desire for a new start, a rebirth. This way he knows exactly what is what, since good and evil have started to merge overtime. A rebirth means that everything is good once again and there is no evil. Page 179 / Chapter 15 Just think Antonio, for the first time you will hold God in your mouth, in your body, in your soul-you will speak to Him, and He will answer- she said to me. And she smiled, and there were tears in her eyes. Then I will have the knowledge of God? I asked. Yes, she sighed I hope you will use your knowledge to carry out God s will. We see that Anthony s mother is still pushing for him to become a Luna, and we get a chance to see exactly what kind of methods she uses to persuade him in this direction. The sigh adds a sort of guilt-trip laid on him, and it makes Anthony feels bad, because his other brother s are considered Marezs, he is her last hope. Page187 / Chapter 16 I would look very hard at the red altar candles burning before her feet then I would bow my head and close my eyes and imagine that I saw her turn to God and tell Him exactly what I has asked. And the Lord would shake His head and answer, the boy is not yet ready to understand. Anthony perhaps makes up a reason that he is not getting answers to his many questions about life and death here. But if applied the answer is most truthful. Anthony is still young with many questions to be asked, but he still has not come to really listen for the answers ( many of which lye around him), thus in this sense he is not yet ready to understand either. Page 196 / Chapter 17 So I ask myself, he continued, how can God let this happen to a kid. I never asked to be born. But he gives me birth, a soul, and puts me here to punish me. Why? What did I ever do to Him to deserve this, huh? Florence, being one of the only friends Anthony has that dose not believe in God brings forth these questions, and seeks Anthony for and answer, but the truth is, he can find no real reason God would punish someone with out good cause. He doesn t understand why God lets evil exist. Page 209 / Chapter 18 Tony is the priest, Tony is the Priest, yah-yah-yah-yah! They sang and danced around me I grew dizzy. The weight of the jackets on me was heavy and suffocating. All right! I cried to appease them, I shall be your Priest! This passage is a metaphor for the pressure Anthony feels from his parents. He feels as though he is being weighed down and he feels if he dose what is wanted of him, maybe he won t suffocate anymore. It s interesting that the author uses the word appease instead of the usual please in this passage, because appease is the base word for appeasement, which is usually used in reference to avoiding war. Page 221 / Chapter 19 I closed my eyes and concentrated. I have just swallowed Him. He must be in there! For a moment, on the altar railing, I thought I had felt his warmth, but then everything moved so fast. There wasn t time just to sit and discover Him, like I could do when I sat on the creek bank and watched the golden carp swim in the sun-filtered waters. This passage is important because it shows how na ve Anthony still seems to be, but at the same times shows that that childhood innocence still resides within him. Unlike that of his brothers who have seemed to have stopped believing . Page 228 / Chapter 20 And there is no beauty like this earth, Ultima said. They looked at each other and smiled, and I realized that from these two people I had learned to love the magical beauty of the wide, free earth. From my mother I had learned that man is of the earth, that his clay feet are part of the ground that nourishes him, and that it is this inextricable mixture that gives man his measure of safety and security But from my father and Ultima I had learned that the greater immortality is in the freedom of man, and that freedom is best nourished by the noble expanse of land and air and pure, white sky. Here Anthony seems to take into perspective the best of both worlds. On his part this dose show some growth. He understands how his mother and father both think and is now trying to intertwine them. This is important because this is one of the only times in the novel when Anthony speaks of the two sides compromisingly. Page 237 Chapter 21 You have to choose, Tony, Cico said, you have to choose between the god of the church, or the beauty that is here and now- He pointed and I looked into the dark clear water of the creek. Two brown carp swam from under the thicket into the open. Again Anthony feels pressured to choose and is relapsed into that stage of division. He finds the golden carp story easier to believe in here, since there is physical proof that lays before him, where in, Ultima s power and Catholicism relies on mostly faith. The two brown carp coming out of the thicket could be a metaphor for Tony coming out of the dark and into the light at this point of the novel. Page 260 / Chapter 22 My work was to do good, she continued, I was to heal the sick and show them the path of goodness. But I was not to interfere with the destiny of any man. Those who wallow in evil and brujeria cannot understand this. They create a disharmony that in the end reaches out and destroys life- Here is the point where Anthony comes to realize that it is not the beliefs that he needs to choose between, it is the path of good and evil. And because he believes in the goodness of people, he also believes in Ultima, his mother and Cico s story of the golden carp. There is an understanding because he sees the whole picture. Snippet Jounal Cassandra Castillo