The relationship between creation and violence in reference to the book Bless Me Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya

Essay by Jadels137High School, 10th grade September 2009

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Creation and violence go hand in hand. Creation bore violence, and violence leads to creation. That does not mean that violence leads to a positive outcome per se, but that is does lead to a significant change and a new beginning. In the novel Bless Me, Ultima there are several examples of how creation is born from violence.

In one of Antonio's dreams his entire world is ripped apart in front of his eyes: His three brothers turn into Brujas who kill him, his entire family parishes, and the people kill and eat the holy carp; essentially the world turns into a hell-on-earth. Then the Golden Carp swallows up the world and ascends to the heavens, forgiving everyone for their evil doings and granting them new life. This story is an analogy for what Jesus did for all people in the Christian faith. Violence and heresy swept over the people and yet they were still forgiven, and a beautiful thing, new life, was given to them in return.

As the few people in the town of Guadalupe who possess magical powers die off, (Narciso, the Trimentina sisters, Tenorio, and Ultima) all visible supernatural activity in the town is extinguished. The people of the town will enter a new era of life without direct magical interference.

Through the violence inflicted on Antonio's Uncle, there is much suffering. He experiences pain, haunting, horror, and emptiness, but in the end the result is a person reborn into the world with a new realization of just how beautiful life is. After so much suffering and agony the simple joys of just being alive are reawakened.

Antonio, in his young life, has seen and grieved death. He has struggled with questions of his faith and is constantly disappointed with God and does not understand why he doesn't feel his presence. He is frustrated that he cannot figure out a simple pattern of life, one formula into which everything fits. He is lost and alone in his state of confusion. What the voice is telling him is that everything is constantly changing and that the end of one thing is simply the beginning of another. He has to learn to have faith even when there are no ultimate answers. Violence will keep occurring, and although it is tragic, it is part of your life that you must accept and learn from it. Ultima tells Antonio, "Life is filled with sadness when a boy grows to be a man. But as you grow into manhood you must not despair of life, but gather strength to sustain you--… You are growing, and growth is change, make it a part of your strength" (Anaya 245). She is telling him to utilize all the pain and violence he has seen and to learn from his experiences, and in the end it will benefit him greatly.

Although violence is a key component in history, change, and new beginnings, it is definitely not the best way to advance our society and ourselves individually. In fact, I believe that Anaya was implying a second idea in his quote, "The germ of creation lies in violence" (Anaya 243). The germ, meaning the infection or poison, of creation is violence. It is violence that corrupts creation, and yet violence births creation. It is a system set up to fail. So the question is, will violence poison our future to the point where there is no turning back? Or can we as a people come together to find a better solution to our problems and switch it around so that the infection of violence is our creation.

Works CitedAnaya, Rudolfo. Bless Me, Ultima. New York: Warner Books, 1972.