Heritage as an Idea of Oneself in Bless Me Ultima and The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven

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Heritage as an Idea of Oneself in Bless Me Ultima and The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven Traveling through humanity is a never-ending story. Traveling through ethnicity is an ever changing journey. Is race or culture a matter of color? Is it a way of life; or a decision an individual makes? Is it an idea one has of themselves? In the novels, Bless Me Ultima (Anaya 1972) and The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven (Alexie 1993), two different minority characters, Tony and Victor, give voice to their journey of growing up and finding their place in the world in regards to their heritage. The characters, in Anaya's and Alexie's novels, relate to a dominant culture, pursue balance in their life by searching traditions of the past, and attempt to blend their heritage into the present allowing them passage to the future. Their journeys differ in respect to heritage and family situation. Their journeys parallel considering that they are both male, belong to a minority, seek individual identity, and search for their place on the planet. Each seeks peace within and without. Although, their journeys are different, they are the same. The characters in the two novels, belong to two different cultures. In Rudolfo Anaya's Bless Me Ultima, the young, Mexican-American Anthony Juan Marez y Luna (Tony) struggles between two ways of being a Spanish-Mexican-American while also dealing with the dominant white culture. Tony's mother and father, although both born in New Mexico, come from two different cultures. His father, a Marez, comes from a long line of Spanish "conquistadores, men as restless as the seas they sailed and as free as the land they conquered" (Anaya 6). Tony's mother, a Luna, comes fr... ... middle of paper ... ... America, 1982. 80-167. Meacham, Jon. "Redefining Race in America." Newsweek September 2000: 38-41. Mitchell, Carol. "Rudolfo Anaya's Bless Me, Ultima: Folk Culture in Literature." Critique: Studies in Modern Fiction. 17.1 1980, 55-64. Smoke Signals. Dir. Chris Eyre. With Adam Beach and Evan Adams. Miramax/Shadowcatcher. Prod. Larry Estes and Scott Rosenfelt. 1997. Tonn, Horst. "Bless Me, Ultima: A Fictional Response to Times of Transition." Aztlan, 18.1 1987, 59-68. White, Craig. "American Minority Literature." Handout. University of Houston-Clear Lake. Houston. 24 August 2000. - - - - - "American Minority Literature." Notes. 27 September 2000. Yancey, William L. Ericksen, Eugene P.; and Juliani, Richard N. "Emergent Ethnicity: A Review and Reformulation." American Sociological Review 41.3 1976: 391-403.

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