“Bless Me, Ultima” by Rudolfo Anaya

Updated August 12, 2022

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Her last words were actually what Antonio requested her to do, which was to receive a blessing. Her last words also represent the bond she had created with Tony, “Always have the strength to live. Love life, and if despair enters your heart, look for me in the evenings when the wind is gentle and the owls sing in the hills. I shall be with you-” Essentially, she is trying to tell him to never give up and to do what he enjoys. Also, if something ever goes wrong, her presence will always be around for him.

The second important significance of title takes us back to the first time that Antonio ever got a blessing from Ultima. He feels a massive amount of air which was when he first started to question the power of evil and good. When he receives the final blessing, his questions are answered. In the end of the book, before Ultima died, she requested for him to bury her owl wherever there was a forked juniper tree so Antonio did as she requested. This was basically an exchange for when Ultima gave him a blessing and he did everything that she requested, including getting rid of all her herbs and medicine.

Because of Antonio’s age, he still has a lot of questions about God and is wishing to get the answers. All his questions were answered once he receives the blessing. Ultima tells him to always do what he wants and to enjoy life because he still has a lot to live. Even though it is not said in the book, the reader can infer that he is going to live as Ultima advised him to due to the unbreakable bond and trust they had for one another.

Significant Quotations

‘And that is what Ultima tried to teach me, that the tragic consequences of life can be overcome by the magical strength that resides in the human heart.’ (page 249)

This phrase from the passage is important because it is showing the human heart can always surpass any difficulties that an individual is going through in his/her life. This life lesson is what Ultima was trying to tell him throughout the book but Antonio was always too young to understand until chapter 22. This quote is significant because of represent the overall theme of the story.

“God! Why did Lupito die? Why do you allow the evil of the Trementinas? Why did you allow Narciso to be murdered when he was doing good? . . .”(ch.19) These questions of the passage are repeating many negative things that have happened in Antonio’s life. This is also when he is questioning his religion and faith in God and why he punishes some but there is still evil in the world. This is significant because in most of the book, Antonio questions his faith and still needs to learn more about it.

‘“Your evil bird blinded me!’ ‘For that I curse you! I will see you dead! And you, Narciso, I swear to kill you!’’(page 135)This quote is said by Tenorio. Essentially, the owl took Tenorio’s eyes out when it felt Ultima was in danger. This is significant because the owl is actually Ultima’s spirit; therefore, it was actually her.

‘I will find a way to kill the witch'(pg 89) Again, this quote is said by Tenorio. Essentially,he has always wanted to get revenge on Ultima and this phrase is another method on how he plans on doing it. While the reader believes Ultima is a curandera, Tenorio claims that she is actually a witch. This is the main reason for him wanting to kill her even though he wants revenge, he is never capable of accomplishing it.

Additional Comments

Overall the novel was a very good book and enjoyable to read. At first, the reader might not be as interested but as the book progresses and starts to get more in depth, it also gets intense. A key strength is that the author was able to add Mexican heritage and religion without confusing the reader with the topic. From my perspective, there are no weaknesses because the book is well written in a way that is clear to understand what is occurring. The reader is also able to feel what the protagonist is going through and his emotions at all time.

In my opinion, this book is unique and is not related to any other book I have read in the past because it is a Mexican American novel unlike many others. The only human folly that the reader might have noticed is the fact that Tenorio was eager to get revenge on Ultima amd accused her of something that might have not been true. This statement was that she was a witch even though she was a curandera. The only thing that I might remember from this text that will be helpful is to always make own choices and decisions just like Ultima thought Antonio. Bless Me, Ultima is a well written novel that should be read by many others.

“Bless Me, Ultima” by Rudolfo Anaya essay

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“Bless Me, Ultima” by Rudolfo Anaya. (2022, Jan 08). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/bless-me-ultima-by-rudolfo-anaya/


How many pages are in Bless Me, Ultima?
Bless Me, Ultima Bless Me, Ultima Publisher: Grand Central Publishing ISBN: 9781455521333, Classification: Fiction Number of pages: 225 , 4 more rows
Is Bless Me, Ultima based on a true story?
The bemused visitor was Rudolfo Anaya, author of the quintessential novel of New Mexico magical realism: Bless Me, Ultima. The book, published in 1972, is Anaya's semi-autobiographical story of growing up in rural northeastern New Mexico in the l940s.
What is Bless Me, Ultima mainly about?
Bless Me, Ultima is a coming-of-age novel about a young boy's loss of innocence and approach to maturity . But it also deals with tradition and education, faith and doubt, and good and evil.
Why did Rudolfo Anaya write Bless Me, Ultima?
It was his wife, Patricia Lawless, whom he met in the 1960s, who inspired him to write his most famous novel, 1972's “Bless Me, Ultima,” about a boy named Antonio Márez and the spiritual journey he embarks on when a healer named Ultima comes to stay with his family .
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