Essay on Bless Me Ultima, By Rudolfo Anaya

Essay on Bless Me Ultima, By Rudolfo Anaya

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In the novel, Bless Me Ultima, written by Rudolfo Anaya, two different religions are introduced. The religion of Catholicism is the religion originally practiced by the novel’s main character, Antonio. Throughout the novel, the religion of the Golden Carp is introduced and causes a crisis of faith for Antonio. Antonio must learn to choose between the conventional values of the Church and the modern beliefs of the Golden Carp by comparing and contrasting the two religions.
The Catholic Church in the novel is very traditional. Antonio’s church practices old rituals, such as the children attend catechism classes before their first communion. Antonio and his friend Florence are late to one of the classes. This causes Antonio to receive a warning and Florence, a punishment. Florence is required to hold his arms outstretched in the middle of the aisle for the entire class. “”Let us pray,” Father Byrnes said and knelt. We followed suit, kneeling on the rough splintery knee boards of the pew. Only Florence remained standing, holding the weight of his arms, which would become numb like lead before catechism was over" (166). The Act of Confession is also shown in the novel. Students lined up to give their first ever confession to the priest. “The small wooden door of the window slid open in front of me, and in the dark I could make out the head of Father Byrnes. His eyes were closed, his head bowed forward. He mumbled something in Latin and then put his hand on his forehead and waited. I made the sign of the cross and said, “Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned,” and I made my first confession to him" (180).
The religion of the Golden Carp is very untraditional. This religion was introduced to Antonio by two of his friends, Samuel and Ci...


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...est, or if he should explore his newfound belief in the Golden Carp. While the two religions have similar themes, the focus is mainly on how the golden carp refutes the Catholic church 's beliefs and principles. Throughout the novel Antonio questions why God has forsaken him. He worries that God is angry with him for questioning the godliness of the Golden Carp. “The commandment of the Lord said, Thou shalt have no other gods before me…” (93). In the end of the novel, Antonio finally grasps that wisdom comes with age, something he learned by watching Ultima. He now understands that he can doubt, but he can still believe. He just has a stronger belief in the Golden Carp. “Would they smile when they learned I doubted the God of my forefathers, the God of the Lunas, and knew I praised the beauty of the Golden Carp?” (212). Antonio learns it is okay to live with doubt.

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