LAP: Bless Me Ultima
Throughout the novel Bless Me, Ultima, Rudolfo Anaya consistently uses the strategic technique of accounting dreams to show the maturation of Antonio and how his life experiences and questions can be translated through symbolic interpretation and abstract understanding; for Antonio as well as the reader. His internal conflicts of choice, growing up, and loyalty to his faith are apparent as well as themes of observing tradition and cultural values can be seen and used to recognize his religious ambivalence and how his relationship with the mystical and magnificent Ultima ultimately leads Antonio to become a more enlightened young person.
Many of the symbols present in the dreams are contradictions and juxtapose to each other; day and night, the water and land, birth and death, and more generally, good and evil. The novel commences with a post-monition of Antonio's own birth and thus the battle between priest and vaquero.
Before his life even began, Antonio was given an ultimatum to meet: be tied to the land as a farmer and priest to please his mother, or be free upon the land as a vaquero to please his father. So, as a six year old, Antonio was already at a disadvantage. He could not express himself effectively due to lack of life experience and was scared to disappoint his parents, as most six year olds are. It seemed as if he only had two paths to choose from; two opposite bloods running through him. In addition, Antonio was the youngest boy of all his parents' children. This placed an extra burden on him, to be the baby that lives up to all of their expectations, their last hope. Along with choosing his future, Antonio questions his religion and faith after experiencing numerous encounters with morality, justice, and...