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Author: Rudolfo Anaya Summary of Bless Me, Ultima What does Antonio learn from Ultima? Continued.... In the novel "Bless Me, Ultima" a young protagonist named Antonio Márez tells the story of Ultima, a curandera who mentors Antonio throughout his childhood. Cultural View of Religion Morality: In this presentation we will explain how Ultima contributes to Antonio's ability to understand an identity of many heritages. Goal of the Presentation: "In two days we would celebrate the mass of the dead, and after mass we would take her body to the cemetery in Las Pasturas for burial. But all that would only be the ceremony that was prescribed by custom. Ultima was really buried here. Tonight."(Anaya, Pg.262)
-In this quote, Ultima has taught him to restrain judgement from beliefs. Antonio accepts both views of the burial practices of Catholicism and mysticism instead of choosing between the two of them. -Another thing that Antonio learns from Ultima is the idea that morality is not absolute. In chapter 3, Ultima said that "Last night was hard for many men." This quotes was for Ultima to address Antonio’s curiosity regarding the morality of murder. Ultima also uses catholic terms( salvation and damnation) in order to show that people must make independent moral decisions but should not make decisions regarding salvation and damnation. What does Ultima teach Antonio that his own relatives can't? Life Experience Builds Strength: "He had saved my life, and perhaps if we had come earlier we would have saved Ultima. But it was better not to think that way. Ultima said to take life's experiences and build strength from them, not weakness." (Anaya, Pg. 261)
-This quote basically shows that the wisdom and lessons that Ultima taught him made him realize that Ultima would always be with Antonio throughout his life. Continued.... Tension Between Innocence & Experience: "The tragic consequences of life can be overcome by the magical strength that resides in the human heart." (Anaya, Pg 249 )
-Even though Antonio had experience the tragic deaths and situation he still persevere and continue. This resolves the quote that Maria said that it is a sin to grow up. Though innocence is only short-lived, the "magical strength" in the heart gives Antonio hope. Influence of Culture on Identity: Continued.. Antonio has been influenced by many conflicting cultures from choosing between his parent's cultural convictions to the town's Spanish and indigenous cultures. Ultima encourages Antonio to embrace these cultural influences in his life in order to become a better person instead of being limited to one influence. What does Antonio mean when he says that "the glory & tragedy" of his people's history stir in his blood? Antonio mean when he said that "the glory & tragedy" of his people's history stir in his blood was that throughout the years in his family, the Lunas didn't want their future generation to become a Marez while the Marez didn't want their generation to become a Luna. As Ultima is telling the "glory & tragedy" to Antonio, Antonio starts to understand that he needs to decide whether to pick one side over the other or influences these differences into his own identity. In Conclusion..... Our group has explained how Ultima contributes to Antonio's ability to understand an identity of many heritages. Work Cited: Thank You! :) Sparknotes, . N.p.. Web. 29 May 2013. <http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/ultima/canalysis.html>.
Anaya, Rudolfo A. Bless Me, Ultima. New York: Warner Books, 1994. Print.