Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo AnayaAntonio Marez is six years old when Ultima enters his life. She is a curandera, one who heals with herbs and magic. We cannot let her live her last days in loneliness, says Antonios mother. It is not the way of our people, agrees his father. And so Ultima comes to live with Antonios family in New Mexico. Soon Tony will journey to the threshold of manhood. Always, Ultima watches over him. She graces him with the courage to face childhood bigotry, diabolical possession, the moral collapse of his brother, and too many violent deaths. Under her wise guidance, Tony will probe the family ties that bind him, and he will find in himself the magical secrets of the pagan past—a mythic legacy equally as palpable as the Catholicism of Latin America in which he has been schooled. At each turn in his life there is Ultima who will nurture the birth of his soul.
Bless Me, Ultima Official Trailer (2013) - Benito Martinez Movie HD
Anaya's story covers a two-year period at the close of World War II and centers on the experiences of a young, but serious boy who is attempting to make sense of the world around him and, at the same time, grappling with the opposing expectations of his parents. Anaya skillfully sets up a dialogue between Antonio and Ultima, the elderly healer who comes to live her remaining years with Antonio's family. It is to the wrinkled Ultima that Antonio turns to for advice as he tries to understand himself and the conflicts and contradictions around him.
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Bless Me, Ultima
Antonio is preoccupied with and anxious about attending school and having to be separated from his mother. Related to these concerns is his engrossment with knowing his destiny. This concern is exacerbated by his mother's desire that he become a priest to a community of farmers, where her family lives. At the same time, Antonio is concerned about realizing the wandering desire that stems from his paternal lineage. Antonio is nearly at the point of starting religious study for his first holy communion and is becoming concerned with good and evil in the world. Early in the novel, he witnesses the killing of Lupito, a war veteran, and fears that his father may be punished by God for being with the men who killed Lupito.
Long before J. Rowling sent Harry Potter off to Hogwarts, Rudolfo Anaya penned a novel about magic, witches, ghosts, a young boy growing up, and an awesome pet owl. He is about to start school, learn a new language English , meet a whole new group of children, and begin his religious studies as he moves towards taking his First Holy Communion. Bless Me, Ultima delves deep into the family life, religious beliefs, and conflicting pasts of Chicano culture. In the novel, we see the struggle between Spanish heritage and Native American heritage; the desire for the younger generation to be a part of America, while the older generation struggles to hold onto traditions of the past; and a universal story of a young boy taking his first steps towards manhood.