What is bless me ultima about

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what is bless me ultima about

Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya

Antonio 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.
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Bless Me, Ultima Book Review

NEA Big Read

Not yet old enough to go to school, he starts pondering the events of his birth and whether or not his destiny has been laid out for him. You know, like most five-year-olds. He questions which blood courses through his veins. Antonio's journey towards self-discovery kicks into high gear with the arrival of Ultima a. La Grande and her owl. Ultima carries with her the power of the curandera, one who heals with herbs and ancient secrets and battles against the evil of the brujas witches. In her old age, Ultima comes to Antonio's home to live out the rest of her life with a family that has heaps of respect for her.

First published in , this semi-autobiographical, coming-of-age novel is one of the most critically acclaimed Chicano novels of all time. Set in rural New Mexico in the s, the novel tells the story of a boy who learns to navigate the changing American landscape during World War II with the help of a curandera spiritual healer who guides him through the cultural, religious, and moral contradictions he faces in his community of farmers, priests, cowboys, and soldiers. Like his protagonist, National Endowment for the Arts creative writing fellow Rudolfo Anaya grew up in a New Mexico community heavily influenced by both Catholicism and spiritual healers, with a vaquero cowboy father and three older brothers who went off to war in their youth. The film version of the novel directed by Carl Franklin was released in to critical acclaim. This title is no longer available for programming after the grant year. This woman—called La Grande or Ultima—is a curandera, a traditional healer feared by many and mysterious to all.

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. The setting for the novel is the Pecos Valley in New Mexico. The valley is situated on the western edge of the Great Plains Province, which comprises the eastern third of the state. It is bounded on the west by the Southern Rockies and on the east by the bluffs of the Llano Estacado. The area is part of the Lower Sonoran zone of mesquite and black grama grass.

Bless Me, Ultima is a coming-of-age novel by Rudolfo Anaya centering on Antonio Marez y Luna and his mentorship under his curandera and protector, Ultima.
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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.

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