Bless Me, Ultia

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Antonio’s Journey to his Identity Although the quest to finding one’s individuality may be challenging, it contains handfuls of valuable and cherishing life lessons along the way. In the novel, Bless Me, Ultima, written by Rudolfo Anaya, Antonio learns about morals, beliefs, as well as what his future holds. As he grows and matures, he is easily influenced by his parents, Maria and Gabriel, and his grandmother, Ultima. Anaya uses symbolism to describe Antonio’s difficult, immense journey for his own identity with guidance from Maria, Gabriel, and Ultima. The use of symbolism is prevailed to prove his search for identity with influences like Maria. Maria’s family name, “Luna,” is represented by the moon, and in Antonio’s dreams, Maria claims that “[those who were] baptized in the water of the moon… are saved” (120). The symbols of water of the moon represent sweet water that descends from the clouds and heaven, and as Antonio wants to be pure and never sinning, he looks to the Luna religion. Then, Antonio’s search for his identity continues as Uncle Juan states, “Antonio has work well… he has the feel of the earth in his blood” (142). Now that he claims Antonio has Luna in his veins, there is a sense of hope and chance that Antonio will be the only son, and last, to carry the Luna religion. However, Maria is aware that in the end, it is Antonio who will make the last decision. Antonio’s father, Gabriel is also aware of this choice Antonio must make. One of Antonio’s biggest influences on the search of his becoming is his father, shown through symbolism. Antonio listens to his brothers talk about the Marez life and “[it was true, he thought,] it is the Marez blood in [him] that touches [them] with the urge to wander” (66). The Marez is seen as restless and seeing his brothers affected by the war, acting wild makes Antonio second guess himself on what he wants to be in life. His brothers are lost, without guidance, as his mother said the Marez were. Later in the

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