Bless Me Ultima

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In Bless Me, Ultima, Rudolfo Anaya writes about a young Mexican-American boy named Antonio Marez who is very curious about all the lives and stories that surround him because he is faced with deciding who he will be in the future. Antonio’s mother wants him to be a Catholic priest and farmer. She is a Luna and wants Antonio to be like her family, the people of the moon and excellent farmers because they are quiet people who speak and listen to the earth. His father wants him to be a vaquero, or cowboy, upholding the last name Marez which represents a loud people who roam freely on the earth. Antonio’s future is ultimately his own choice, so he becomes very close to his grandmother, Ultima, and depends on her guidance because she is old and wise. After his family is honored to have Ultima move in to their home, Antonio learns of all the herbs and roots Ultima uses in her practice as a curandera. Antonio begins to ask Ultima many questions about life because each event in the story makes Antonio anxious about the sins and punishments of the souls of others and his own. First, Antonio worries about his father’s soul and if he would go to hell after the men of the town shot a man named Lupito who lost his mind from being in the war and killed the town sheriff. Ultima calms his thoughts saying she doubted that his father fired. Antonio begins school in the fall and excels, but is putdown by the white children for his different language and food. Then, World War II ends and Antonio’s brothers return home. Antonio hears them fooling around about the girls at Rosie’s house, a house known in town as a brothel, and becomes concerned with their loss of innocence in becoming men because it gives truth to his mother’s words that becoming a man is a sin. His brothers argue that they will not live to fulfill their father’s dream so Leon and Eugene leave to live their individual lives saying that their parents still have Antonio to become the priest of their mother’s...
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