Bless Me, Ultima Literary AnalysisGet Your
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tSam Ennis Period #4 20 September 2012 “Bless Me, Ultima” by Rudolfo Anaya Literary Analysis Throughout the context of “Bless Me Ultima,” it is evident that there are many motifs and examples of dichotomy. I believe that Anaya uses the previously mentioned elements of literature in order to provoke his readers’ thinking and help embody a struggle of understanding the world we live in. Motifs in this novel include: family, dreams, religion, education, and the list continues.
For examples of dichotomy, the idea of good versus evil is the most vivid in this novel. An important motif in “Bless Me, Ultima” are Antonio’s dreams. His dreams foreshadow major events and make him question his beliefs, especially revolving around religion. The dream that Antonio had subsequently following his witnessing of Tenorio killing Narciso, best shows why Anaya corporates them in his novel. In this dream Antonio’s guilt and young principles take over. Evil, revenge, and sin lead the end of the world as Antonio views it.
At the bottom of page 176 it reads, “A new sun to shine its good light upon a new earth. ” (Anaya, Page #176). Based on this text and knowledge from reading the book, we can conclude that after the earth has been destroyed and the golden carp swallows all that is good and evil, a new world is produced. Dichotomy is defined as the contrast between two things that are represented as being opposed or entirely different. What is more contradictory than good and evil? Although these terminologies are very different they are often used in identical context.
In the middle of page 260 Ultima says, “With the passing away of Tenorio and myself the meddling will be done with, harmony will be reconstituted. ” (Anaya, Page #260). Because Ultima embodies all that is good and Tenorio embodies all that is evil, they express how the two terms lay hand in hand and clash in every possible opportunity. Ultima cannot live while Tenorio is dead because it will throw off the balance of the world. One’s existence rested solely upon the existence of the counter part. In “Bless Me Ultima” Antonio struggles with the ideas of good and evil.
Two other literary elements that Rudolfo Anaya includes in “Bless Me, Ultima” are magical realism and archetypes. Magical realism can be described as something that is not necessarily real but is believable and could be considered a miracle. Archetypes are typical examples of a person, place or thing. Anaya includes many examples of both not only to make the story grasp the reader more, but to guide the reader to interpret the story through their own lenses. An example of magical realism in the story is that of the Golden Carp.
While many people would not consider it real, the concept is similar to the idea of god. The Golden Carp is something that Antonio considers magical and fascinating but is reluctant to believe in. At the bottom of page 113 Antonio says, “The Golden Carp came. Cico pointed and I turned to where the stream came out of the dark grotto of overhanging tree branches. At first I thought I must be dreaming. ” (Anaya, Page #113). Even though he was enthusiastic to view the Golden Carp, once he saw it he had a hard time accepting its physical existence.
Significant archetypes in this novel feature: Ultima as the good spirit and Antonio as the boy idol. Another important one are the girls from Rosie’s as temptresses. These girls are the spark a lot of controversy and remain the reason for much of the sin in their town. On page 145 of chapter 14 Ernie says, “Is it true that your brother’s been whoring with the girls at Rosie’s? ” (Anaya, Page #145). Even as youthful children, Antonio and his school friends, are attentive of the inappropriate actions being performed at Rosie’s House.
Rudolfo Anaya’s use of all these literary devices, make his story award winning and available for free interpretation by the target audience. The way he writes enables people to discover meaning the novel in via many alternate interpretations. Literary devices assist in conveying the meaning, which the author intended to communicate. In addition, most literary devices allow us to view a message in the novel through our own vision and provide insight upon them.
Author: Brandon Johnson
Bless Me, Ultima Literary Analysis
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Coming-of-Age, Magical Realism, Philosophical Literature
At the heart of Bless Me, Ultima sits a story about a boy growing up. It's all about Antonio undergoing rites of passage, learning what it is to be a man, and trying to suss out what it is that he believes. Sure, the growing-up story has been told about a million times by a million people, but this one is special because Antonio isn't your average kid.
He starts as a little boy terrified to have to be starting school soon, unable to understand the English, and torn between the futures that others seem to have laid out for him. By the end of it, he's witnessed violent deaths, battled curses, faced down a killer, learned to embrace multiple facets of his culture and heritage, and come to understand that he's not bound to a future that someone else has chosen for him. In short, the kid has come of age. It's as simple as that.
It's fairly safe to say that if you were on your way to class and you witnessed an old-school throw down between a woman who may or may not be a witch and a demon that possessed some guy's soul, you'd either freak out or think that they were filming the latest sequel to Paranormal Activity in your neighborhood. For the characters of Bless Me, Ultima, these things kind of happen a lot. The supernatural and magic are simply a part of life in this novel, which makes it fall in line with a lot of the conventions of Magical Realism.
And while Antonio stays busy coming of age and dealing with the magic around him, he also engages in a pretty heavy philosophical debate with himself and some of his friends. Throughout the novel, Antonio struggles to discover the nature and existence of God. On the list of philosophical subjects, this one ranks pretty high. The philosophical nature of Antonio leads him on his journey and guides him as he grows into a man.