Bless Me Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya Essay
1880 Words8 Pages
Bless Me Ultima - A Religious Struggle
Only a few books dare to discuss the confusion surrounded by a religious awakening. In Bless Me Ultima, Rudolfo Anaya, Premio Quinto Sol national Chicano literary award recipient, challenges standard religion and brings in different ideas through the perspective of a young and confused boy. Due to the new ideas that he is introduced to, the events that occurs especially deaths, and his eagerness for knowledge all leads Antonio to question his religious beliefs. At the end of his struggle to understand, the boy reaches the peace of mind he was seeking.
Throughout the book Antonio is introduced to many new ideas. The first is the experiences he has with Ultima. Ultima is a healer who learned…show more content…
Antonio learns about the golden carp from Cico, a friend of his. According to Cico, the golden carp was once a god who loved the people of Antonio's town, Guadalupe. The people were not allowed to fish for the brown carp that lived in the river that flowed around the town. These fish were sacred to the gods. However, because of a drought and no food, the people had to eat the carp to survive. This angered the gods. They wanted to punish all the people by death but "they relented from killing the people. Instead, they turned the people into carp and made them live forever in the waters of the river-". The god who loved the people wished to become a carp like them to protect them from the dangers of the river. The gods agreed and "because he was a god they made him very big and colored him the color gold". Antonio cannot believe there is a new god and seeks answers from Ultima. Ultima is pleased that he has learned so much, but says she cannot tell him what to believe for he must decide for himself. The Golden Carp represents all the questions Tony has about religion and morality. Tony’s confusion is due to conflicting forces in both these aspects of life. When Cico first introduces the Carp to Tony, he is forced to make a tough decision, “Do you believe the Golden Carp is a god?” which he skillfully evades until he has the information he wants to make his decision. After the emergence of the Carp, Tony begins to question his
Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya Essay
1652 Words7 Pages
"Bless Me, Ultima" by Rudolfo Anaya
Children believe what their parents tell them but as they get older they start to question that which used to be unquestionable. Bless Me, Ultima is a novel by Rudolfo Anaya about a young Chicano boy, Antonio Juan Marez y Luna, who is growing up and seeing the world for how cruel it really is. A wise old curandera, or faith healer, Ultima, arrives just before Tony receives his first glimpse into the world of men. Ultima gives Tony spiritual healing throughout the book, as well as advice to keep him in harmony with nature and his spirit. The more Tony sees of death in the little town of Guadalupe, New Mexico, the more he questions the Christian God and turns towards the golden carp, a pagan god of…show more content…
By growing up and becoming a man, boys witness acts of sin and commit a few acts themselves. Tony has witnessed sin but he is not a man because he has not committed any sins or seen enough to really understand the world he is living in. Tony is taught that, ?It was a sin to grow up and be a man.'; (31), by listening to his mother, and realizes that one day he would be grown up and lose his innocence to become a man. Because of this Tony sees how cruel God can be by putting boys on earth to grow up and become men. Tony asks whether his destiny and faith are the ones he wants to believe in and begins his journey towards changing his spiritual beliefs, and the golden carp only reinforces these doubts that Tony is just beginning to realize.
The next step in Tony?s spiritual journey begins when Tony sees another god and wonders whether this god is any kinder to his people than God. Tony believed that God should have forgiven Narciso for his sins and not Tenorio because Tony was partial to Narciso. God is not partial and when he gives forgiveness to one man he must also give it to another, but Tony does not like this. God?s response was ?I will...if you also ask me to forgive Tenorio.'; (173) Tony can?t believe that his God would think of forgiving an evil man like Tenorio. Once Narciso dies and Tony sees the beauty of the golden carp Tony starts to wonder even more whether God is really as good and wonderful as Tony has been taught he is. Tony starts to