Bless Me, Ultimaintensive English 1

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The whole family is glad that Ultima has come to staywith them. Mária is happy to have a woman to talk to, and Antonio’stwo older sisters are happy to have someone to help with their choresso that they can spend more time playing together with dolls. Gabrieltalks to Ultima about his desire to move to California, a wish henow feels will never come true because his older sons are fightingin World War II, and he cannot move his young family alone.

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Bless Me Ultima Quotes

The Great Artist of New Mexico Artists of the 20th and 21st Century Inspiration of the West Heritage surrounding him Unique Spirit of the West The 'Santa Fe Style' Works public buildings banks houses schools university Four Buildings Zimmerman Library University of New Mexico. Bless Me, Ultima is Anaya's best known work and was awarded the prestigious Premio Quinto Sol.In 2008, it was one of 12 classic American novels selected for The Big Read, a community-reading program sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, and in 2009, it was the selected novel of the United States Academic Decathlon. The llano met in me, and the white sun shone on my soul.: -from BLESS ME, UI37MA 000 'This extraordinary storyteller has always written unpretentiously but provocatively about identity. Every work is a fiesta, a ceremony preserving but reshaping old traditions that honor the power within the land and Ia raz-a, the people.'

Antonio is happy because he and Ultima quickly becomefriends. Ultima takes Antonio on walks to gather herbs and teacheshim about their healing properties. Antonio says that he beginsto hear the voice of the river. He senses that his family’s peacefulisolation is about to end. Jasón’s father, Chávez, comes to theMárez home shouting that Lupito, a local war veteran, shot Chávez’sbrother, the sheriff, dead. When Gabriel joins Chávez and the othermen searching for Lupito, Antonio secretly follows them to the river.He sees Lupito, armed with a pistol, hidden in the water. Antoniomakes a small noise, and Lupito looks down at him. But just then,the searchlights fall on Lupito, and he is confronted by his pursuers.Lupito runs off again into the reeds, out of sight of the men onthe bridge. Gabriel and Narciso, the town drunk, try to explainto the mob that Lupito is shell-shocked because of the war, butafter crying out something about Japanese soldiers, Lupito shootshis pistol into the air, drawing the fire of his pursuers. Lupitobegs Antonio for his blessing as he dies.

Antonio runs home, sobbing and reciting the Act of Contrition, thelast prayer that Catholics say before dying. When he realizes that Ultima’sowl has been with him the whole time, he loses his fear. He fearsthat the river will be stained with blood forever. He thinks aboutthe town, which he knows his father despises, and the llano, andhe wonders why Lupito had to die. He remembers when his father builttheir house. Rather than choosing to build on a patch of fertileground, Gabriel built a house on a barren place at the start of thellano. Antonio enters the house and Ultima meets him. She cleanshim and puts him to bed. Ultima explains that it is not for themto judge whether Lupito or the men who killed him will go to hell.Antonio dreams of his three older brothers discussing their father’sdream to build a castle in the hills. When Antonio states that theymust gather around their father, they reply that he is supposed tofulfill María’s dream and become a priest. When they try to cross theRiver of the Carp to build Gabriel’s castle, a mournful voice calls Antonio’sname. His brothers shrink in fear, saying that it is La Llorona,the “Weeping Woman,” or Lupito asking for his blessing. Antoniodeclares that it is the presence of the river. He calms it so thathis brothers can cross.

Bless Me Ultimaintensive English 10 Day


Antonio’s changing attitude toward nature reflects theways in which he is developing into an independent and thoughtfulyoung boy. As a child, Antonio’s fear of the llano represents hisdependence on his family and his youth. Later, Ultima helps himappreciate the natural beauty of the wide plains that his fatherloves so much. Her guidance allows Antonio to find harmony betweenhis conflicting paternal and maternal heritages. This developmentforeshadows Antonio’s ultimately optimistic end, but it also suggestsa new period of difficulty and conflict that parallels his generaltransition away from childish innocence and toward a more adultwisdom. After he witnesses Lupito’s death, Antonio becomes preoccupied withsin, punishment, and the loss of innocence. Antonio’s confrontationwith ideas of good and evil manifests itself in his use of religionto try to understand the world. Antonio recites the Act of Contritionas he runs home, even though he doesn’t fully understand its significance.Furthermore, Lupito forces Antonio to take the figurative role ofpriest when Lupito asks Antonio for a blessing. Antonio must suddenlydeal with the moral significance of an adult dilemma.

Antonio’s dream about his brothers further symbolizesthe conflict between his maternal and paternal heritages. But unlikehis brothers, Antonio now senses that there is greater strengthin embracing his entire heritage than in choosing any one part ofit. The novel suggests that Antonio’s maternal and paternal heritages resultfrom the same conflict, the conflict between Spanish and indigenouscultures. Antonio’s struggle to reconcile his family heritage ismuch like the struggle to evaluate the influences of the varyingcultures of New Mexico.

Anaya’s reference to the legend of La Llorona demonstrateshow Bless Me, Ultima breaks from a traditionalWestern canon of great works. Like the more commonly known legendof Medea, La Llorona is the story of a woman who kills her childrenin a fit of rage. However, the legend of La Llorona is more relevantwithin Antonio’s culture as an illustration of his continuing fearof veering from his parents’ expectations. The legend of La Lloronais a classic of Mexican and Chicano folklore. Some versions of thetale suggest that La Llorona kills her children because their fatherleaves her or makes her jealous of her children. Many versions ofthe legend suggest that she died or killed herself when she realizedwhat she had done. Her spirit wanders the river, crying out forher lost children.

Bless Me Ultimaintensive English 123

Antonio’s inherent trust of the old woman underscoresAnaya’s implication that the Catholic Church cannot explain certainkinds of power, especially Ultima’s. The practitioners of curanderismoare still regarded with suspicion by many, a distrust that revealsa lingering conflict between European and indigenous religious practices. Antonio’strust in her goodness reveals that Antonio is on his way to independentdecision-making, because he can reconcile conflicting belief systems.

Antonio’s feeling of conflict results from the demandsplaced upon him to reconcile his parents’ radically different heritages.His attempt to do so forms the main discussion of the novel. Maríaand her family have a profoundly spiritual relationship with theearth, which is symbolized by their desire to bury Antonio’s afterbirthin the ground. Their hope that Antonio will become a priest atteststo their devout Catholic faith. The mystical character of theirrelationship to the earth is deeply tied to indigenous spirituality,while their devotion to Catholicism represents the extent to whichEuropean culture has shaped them. Despite the violent clash betweenSpanish and indigenous religions, a culture that contains harmoniouselements of both has survived.

Bless Me Ultima Full Text

Gabriel’s family lives the vaquero, or cowboy, way oflife. They are driven by the same adventurous, restless spirit thatdrove the Spaniards across the ocean to the New World, as theirname, derived from the Spanish word for ocean, implies. They arealso superb horsemen. However, Gabriel’s reverence for Ultima shows thathis worldview is heavily influenced by indigenous culture. Like theLuna family, he has a spiritual and mystical relationship with the land,but he expresses it in a different manner. His love of the open llanois just as spiritual as the Lunas’ love of their farmland, but it embodiesan incompatible view of the world. He cannot easily adapt to theslow and stable life of towns and farms, as we see in Gabriel’sgeneral antipathy toward life in Guadalupe and in his deep nostalgiafor life on the open plains.

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