Bless Me Ultima, Rudolfo Anaya

Essay by oo7d0r0thyHigh School, 10th gradeA+, November 2002

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The Reality and Feelings Behind the Fiction

Rudolfo Anaya incorporates elements from his childhood and his emotions into the masterpiece, Bless Me, Ultima. As you read deeper and deeper into the book, you feel as though you are looking into the memories of the writer. You feel what the main character, Antonio, feels and you see what he sees. The book goes from being a normal, fictional reading to an actual experience through the author's eyes. You can't help but wonder if what you're reading could be real, and in some aspects, it truly is.

Rudolfo Anaya grew up in a small village in New Mexico, the same setting of Bless Me, Ultima. In the book, Antonio's parents come from largely different backgrounds, as did Anaya's. The striking similarity is that Anaya's mother's lineage comes from Llano (farmers) and his father is a vaquero (cowboy), which perfectly describes Antonio's parents.

As you can see, Anaya pulled elements from his childhood and origins and placed them into this book so as to make it take on a more realistic form.

Witchcraft and curanderismo (folk medicine) are very important parts of this book, as they are in Spanish culture. Although some believe that these two powers are the same, Anaya makes it perfectly clear that they are an example of good vs. evil. Witches, or brujas, lay hexes on people of whom they are jealous of, or want revenge on. Curanderas are among the very few who can cure the victims of the witches' evil. This is shown throughout the book between Ultima and the Trementina sisters. Being of Spanish

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descent, Anaya grew up learning of these witches and cuanderas, and it was therefore meaningful for him to incorporate into his book.

Catholicism is the religion of traditional...