The Struggle of Power Essay

The Struggle of Power Essay

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Who holds the power? Which religion is stronger? In Bless Me Ultima, a coming of age story of a young boy, the protagonist struggles with the issue of which God should be followed, worshiped, and reverenced. The theme of power in religion is portrayed throughout Anaya’s book in various ways and means such as Ultima, Mrs. Marez, the sign of the cross, and Antonio himself.
Power is portrayed through Ultima and her religion of healing. Ultima is a wise old woman who knows how to use herbs and tonics to heal those who are brave enough to use her services. Because of her knowledge, most people highly respect Ultima and her powers. Ultima is a gentle woman in her ways, but full of power to do any deed she may find it necessary to accomplish. One example of Ultima’s power of healing is when Antonio’s uncle Lucas becomes deathly ill. Ultima knows where the source of the evil done to Lucas is coming from, and goes directly to confront Tenorio, the responsible man. In the confrontation with Tenorio and his cohorts, Ultima tells Tenorio, “I do not fear your threats Tenorio, you well know, my powers were given to me by el hombre volador.” In this quote from the book, Ultima refers to her power, and uses it to her advantage. Much to her liking, Tenorio is shocked as well as scared of what Ultima might do to his three daughters with her power. Ultima also teaches her religion to Antonio. When gathering plants with Ultima, Antonio learns that the plants each have a spirit. Before pulling them up, Antonio must explain why he is going to use each herb or root so it will understand and not be angry. Through her knowledge of cures, Ultima uses the power she possess to help others.
The power of religion is not only portrayed through the embodim...


... middle of paper ...


... ways expresses how power is portrayed through religion, although the religions may not all be the same. Overall, the main theme of Anaya’s book concerns the struggle of power within different cultural and religious premises. Through his struggle, Antonio is able to realize that he does not necessarily need to make a choice between all the religions, but that there is wisdom in understanding that each may have its place in his life.



Works Cited

Caminero-Santangelo, Marta. “Jason’s Indiana: Mexican Americans and the Denial of Indifenous Ethnicity in Anaya’s Bless Me, Ultima.” Critique Winter 2004: 45- Academic Search Premier. Retrieved 9 Feb. 2006 http://web27.epnet.com/citation.
Kanoza, Theresa. “The Golden Carp and Moby Dick: Rodolfo Anaya’s Multiculturism.” Melus Summer 1999: 24- Academic Search Premier. Retrieved 9 Feb. 2006 http://web27.epnet.com/citation.

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