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HL English: Written Assignment
28 April 2014
Use of Dreams in Bless Me, Ultima
By showing the dreams of a character, authors allow their readers to get into the mindset of that character. Dreams give the reader a first person experience of a character and allow the reader to understand the life from the character’s prospective. The author, Rudolfo Anaya, uses the dreams of the main character, Antonio, in Bless Me, Ultima to provide imagery, symbols, and foreshadowing that occurs to show Antonio’s understanding of life as he grows up, loses his innocence, and matures. Antonio’s dreams provide vivid imagery of what he sees. Throughout the novel, he experiences many dreams. The imagery involved within his dreams allows the reader to connect with Antonio and visualize the dreams as if they were there, living them. In his first dream he “flew over the rolling hills of the llano. My soul wandered over the dark plains until it came to a cluster of adobe huts” (Anaya 5). This was the dream of his birth, and it gives the readers the landscape imagery of the area he lives in. It allows the reader to imagine what the state of New Mexico looked like around the end of World War II. In another dream that Antonio had, three figures were calling for Antonio, and he believed they were his brothers so he called to them, “Here! I called. Here by the catfish hole where you taught me to fish. Here by the tall red trees where the blood of Lupito washes into the river. The thick mist swirled in grey eddies and curled about the trees. They looked like giants, spectral figures” (61). Once again, Antonio’s dream allows the readers to envision the scenery of where Antonio lives, and the memories he once created in these places. Other imagery within the novel occurs in the other dreams that Antonio has. One dream takes place at the great lake, “there was a howling wind as the moon rose and its powers pulled at the still waters of the lake. Thunder split the air and the lightning bursts illuminating the churning, frothy tempest. The ghosts stood and walked upon the shore” (120). This imagery is dark and allows the reader to see what Antonio sees as he dreams the end of the world. The imagery plays a big part of understanding the dreams as it allows the readers to imagine what they look like. Every dream that Antonio has includes symbols that are very important as he grows up. The first symbol appears in the very first dream he has, which is of his birth. At his birth he sees a women there aiding his mother, and family members. There are both of his parents’ relatives, whom are arguing about Antonio’s destiny to either become a vaquero like his father or his mother’s priest. In the middle of their argument, the woman interrupts, “Cease! she cried, and the men were quiet. I pulled this baby into the light of life, so I will bury the afterbirth and the cord that once linked him to eternity. Only I will know his destiny” (6). This dream symbolizes a major conflict of Antonio’s, which is what path he will take and follow in life. The next dream Antonio has is of his three older brothers. They try to cross the river, but they can’t. The witch, la llorona, was there asking for the soul of Antonio. Then they thought it was Lupito’s soul seeking his blessing. The river symbolizes life without direction, and proves to Antonio that if he doesn’t pick a role, he will wander without direction and live with dreams that were unfulfilled. At the end of the dream, the mother is crying, “because with each turning of the sun her son was growing old…” (26). This symbolizes that Antonio is the last Luna, and will have direction. After this dream, Antonio begins to wonder if God is forgiving, and if anyone who dies with sin either goes to hell or stays at the bottom of the river with la llorona like Lupito.
Another important dream is when he dreams of his brothers taking him to Rosie’s house. The house was “the...
Cited: Anaya, Rudolfo A. Bless Me, Ultima. New York: Warner, 1994. Print.
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