Rudolfo Anaya's Bless Me Ultima

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Antonio, from Bless Me, Ultima, lives stuck in a world of in-betweens, a world of borders. He must navigate this world and find his place within it, all while trying to please his parents. Tony’s surroundings and cultural background lead to this in between world and force him to pick a side before he even has an opportunity to mature. In Rudolfo Anaya’s Bless Me Ultima, Antonio is constantly searching for answers about his future and the world around him; he finds these answers through his family, environment, religion, and family friend, Ultima. Antonio must find a balance in these divided forces, which tug at him from opposite direction, and forge his own path. The binary opposition of Antonio’s mother and father are one of the major central conflicts. Antonio resides between the Lunas and the Márez tradition, two families that see no common ground. His passage into maturity is one that forces him to decide between his mother and his father, the moon and the sea. During one of Antonio’s dreams he sees his births. This birth shows him the Lunas and the Márez arguing over his future and the presents they bring represent that. The Lunas bring fruit from their farm, they expect Antonio to respect his mother’s side and honor either the land or the heavens by becoming a farmer or priest. The Márez, who expect him to become a cowboy, smash the Lunas offering and present their own emblematic gifts. This profession is represented by his father’s dream of moving to California when becoming a vaquero is no longer a real option (Novoa, 4). Antonio’s dream ends with Ultima solving the problem, and becoming the bridge between the two worlds, something she frequently becomes for Tony. Antonio feels that he must choose one of the traditional pa... ... middle of paper ... ...imself. The novel ultimately ends with the reader understanding that Antonio is finally confident enough to make his own decisions and no longer relies on his parents or the people around him. Works Cited Anaya, Rudolfo A. Bless Me, Ultima. New York: Warner, 1994. Print. Hunt, Alex. “In Search of Anaya’s Carp: Mapping Ecological Consciousness and Chicano Myth.” Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment 12, no. 2 (summer 2005): 179-206. Web. 13 April 2014. Novoa, Juan. “Learning to Read (and/in) Rudolfo Anaya’s Bless Me, Ultima.” In Teaching American Ethnic Literatures: Nineteen Essays, edited by John R. Maitino and David R. Peck, pp. 179-91. Alburquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1996. Web. 13 April 2014. Olmos, Maragrite. “Bless Me, Ultima” in Rudolfo A. Anaya: A Critical Companion, Greenwood Press, 1999. pp. 22-44. Web. 12 April 2014
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