Bless Me Ultima

Bless Me, Ultima is actually the novel which tells us about the conflicts inside the mind of Antonio, or whom we get to know as Tony, a seven years old boy. This mental conflict is more agitating than the explicit conflict between magical powers in the novel. This disillusionment is reflected by Antonio when his mind is torn apart between the understanding of Christianity and the ambiguous forms of dark gods. According to Britee, a disillusionment with the whole of Christianity is revealed (Britee, 25). The bilingual atmosphere in which he grows up poses another threat to the understanding capability of Antonio. The Spanish-American community in the novel is just a symbol, which actually represents the whole idea of American cosmopolitan culture. There are conflicts among cultures and a sense of rootless existence is what disturbs the protagonist the most.
Ultima is branded as a witch but finds a home in Gabriel house where she is respected and loved. She becomes much closer to Tony and this relationship helps him to resolve his religious conflict. Soon after, he witnesses a death and gets too frightened. this incident reveals his innocence. Incidentally, the owl protects him as he hides in the dark bush. Tony is comforted by Ultima and she gives him an herbal medicine. She explains to Tony about Lupita who suffered from ‘war sickness.’ Tony often contemplates about Lupita for not getting salvation after his death. Though he is a young boy, he has a religious quest and understands that a dying person should get absolution. Tony’s mother Maria wants Tony to become the next Luna priest when he grows up, as he is fascinated by the legend of Puerto. Gabriel does not like this idea and says that priests do not keep their holy vows and live a conjugal life.
The conflict, which Antonio goes through, is a reflection of the tension experienced between the cultures of Chicano and America. He has a spiritual quest, which leads him to understand the world around him in a matured way, despite his initial innocence. Ultima teaches him how to learn from the past and gain strength and power to move on in life instead of suffering in desperation.

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