Changes in Faith and the Coming of Age
In “Bless Me Ultima” by Rudolfo Anaya, Ultima represents the benevolent guide for Toni, in “Night” by Elie Wiesel, God serves as Elie’s benevolent guide. Both of these guides serve to help Toni and Elie decide where they stand in terms of their faith and religion and come to age in the process.
In “Bless Me Ultima” Toni starts out firmly believing in God as taught so vehemently by his own mother, Elie also starts out by having faith, even more so than Toni as is shown by his admiration, even adoration of Moshe the Beathe and when he says “ Why did I pray?-Why did I live? Why did I breathe?”. Both Toni and Elie believe what they have been taught too believe but Elie believes even more whole-heartedly than Toni which is why his seperation from God is much more brutal and sudden than Toni’s own seperation. Both boys are on the brink of being thrown into turnmoil and hardships that their fragile minds, bodies and beliefs are not ready for.
When Ultima first comes to live with Toni and his family, Toni is intimidated by her precense but quickly warms up to her and in the process begins to witness and experience a side of spiritualism he never knew existed. Elie’s faith does not change but rather begins to dissipate throughout the novel due to his experiences as does Toni’s faith in God.Ultima serves as Toni’s protector, guide, and nurturer as does the figure and belief in God for Elie. The death of Lupito plants the seed of doubt in God in Toni’s mind as does the death of the pipel in Elie’s mind. None of these events succeed in shattering their faiths but it suceeds in managing to make them question their faith.
With Narcisso and Florence’s death comes the further loss of faith in God for Toni and the further witnessing of pain, death, and cruelty makes Elie alternate between belief and disbelief in his once precious God. Both Toni and Elie are let down by their own God’s silence. Toni says “...