"Bless Me, Ultima" by Rudolfo Anaya

Essay by EJY345High School, 10th gradeA, November 2002

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In the never ending struggle between good and evil, does good always come out victorious? This common "good against evil" archetype, or universal idea, is often addressed in fairy tales, novels, mythology, and other pieces of literary work. In his novel Bless Me, Ultima, Rudolfo Anaya pits the forces of good, led by the magical curandera Ultima, against a formidable, evil foe, the hateful Tenorio. The two common archetypes of the hero or heroine and the evil "bad guy" occur frequently throughout this novel. Clashes between these two groups, good and evil, culminate in a climactic battle between them.

Clashes between good and evil usually start when a villain seeks revenge against someone or when the villain is out to accomplish an evil task. A villainous antagonist, or bad guy, is necessary in any story or piece of literature to enliven the story and enthrall the readers. Tenorio represents the archetypal evil villain in his role in Bless Me, Ultima. He stopped at nothing to accomplish the task that he desired: revenge on Ultima. His hate was so great for Ultima that he cursed her when he confronted Antonio, the boy who loved Ultima.

May coyotes disturb her grave--the grave I will send her to...My daughter is dying and it is because of the witch Ultima. She put the curse on my first daughter, and now she murders the second--but I will find a way...I will find a way to get her and destroy her! (pg. 188)

Tenorio claimed that Ultima had killed his daughter who was a bruja, or witch, and was continuing to kill his other two daughters who were also witches. Seeking revenge on Ultima, Tenorio continually cursed her and made oaths that he would kill her for what she had done to his daughters.