AP English Literature
August 3, 2012
Anaya’s Representation of Childhood in Bless Me, Ultima
When we think of childhood, most of us have an image embedded in our minds of a place blessed with ceaseless joy and happiness. It’s a time in our life during which an individual is free of responsibilities but subsequently begins to learn right from wrong. Bless Me, Ultima by Ruldolfo Anaya, however, offers a differing viewpoint on childhood and adolescence; one denoted by an inauguration into adulthood and maturity. Antonio Márez, the protagonist of Bless Me, Ultima, is a six year old boy whose childhood is marked by many conflicts and events that administer a lasting impact on his life. Ruldolfo Anaya, through the character of Antonio and his brothers, presents to the reader a childhood marked by a loss of innocence and progression into adulthood through the development of moral independence, expectations from family and culture of what one has to become in the future, and development of the judgment of what is good and what is evil/or a sin. Through the culmination of these three factors, we can see how Anaya’s representation of childhood contributes to the meaning of this fine piece of literature, which is one of a transition from innocence to experience through moral independence.
A childhood in Rudolfo Anaya’s perspective is portrayed as one that requires a child to effectively face the loss of his/her innocence in order to progress into adulthood. In Bless Me, Ultima, Antonio loses a great deal of his innocence in response to contact with the harsh realities of his surroundings. However, before talking about our main character, Antonio, let’s take a quick look at the impact of the ordeals faced by his brothers into their progression into mature individuals. Leon, Eugene, and Andrew had gone into the battlefields of World War II in order to fight for their country and explore the world beyond their horizons. As they sought to discover...