Bless Me, Ultima: The Cultural Distress Of A Young Society

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Bless Me, Ultima: The Cultural Distress of a Young Society

An answer to the discussion question of whether or not there is a defined border culture would need a great number of years in field research, but we can also observe a few of the characteristics of such border culture just by looking at scholastic essays and books related to the topic. Within the research that I did, I found a number of scholars who, while defining the border, mention all the specific or special characteristics of this new emerging society, but who also very few times defined it as such. In the book that I researched,
Bless Me Ultima, by Rudolfo A. Anaya, we find many of those characteristics.
There is already much work on this piece of literature, therefore, I decided to present my research and study in two ways. First, I will give a personal analysis of the work, in which I will discuss the different topics and parallelisms that I believe are related to an emerging border culture, and second, I will discuss and complete analysis made by Roberto Cantu, published in The Iden tification and Analysis of Chicano Literature.
The novel by Rudolfo Anaya Bless Me, Ultima, was printed in June 1972, but won the first price in the Second Annual Premio Quinto Sol Literary Award in
1971.
The main characters of the novel are Antonio, his father, mother, two sisters, three brothers, Tenorio and his three daughters, and Ultima. The argument presents how a child, (Antonio), matures in one year, thanks to the different episodes that he goes through. Antonio, a seven year old child, narrates in first person, and describes the events that changed his life from the moment that Ultima arrived at his house. During the beginning of the book, his thoughts and actions are typical of such age, but as the events take place,
Antonio changes and matures incredible fast through the text. It is even hard to find where the changes in his behavior take place, due to Rudolfo's smooth literary transitions.
Carl and Paula Shirley condense their presentation of Bless Me, Ultima by simply mentioning the story line of the book:
She (Ultima) is present from the boy's earliest experiences growing up, family conflict, school, religion, evil and death... Much good in this novel, beauty, magic, New Mexico landscape, legends... (Shirley and
Shirley, 105).
All of th...

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