Bless Me Ultima Essay Conclusion Examples

Bless Me, Ultima by James Brunelle
Instructor:  Jackie Kogan
Write a 3-4 page essay in response to the novel, Bless Me, Ultima, by Rodolfo Anaya.  Discuss the novel in terms of one of its characters.
Rhetorical Elements
 Process Analysis
 Point of View
 Opposing View

Structural Elements
 Thesis statement
 Thesis development
    Supporting Details
 Topic Sentence
 In-text citations
MLA Works Cited

Stylistic Elements
 Word Choice
 Sentence Variety
 Active/Passive Voice
 Effective Repetition
 Figures of Speech
     Bless Me Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya, is a coming-of-age story that revolves around a young boy named Antonio. In this story, Antonio is torn between three destinies. His mother wants him to become a priest while his father wants him to explore and be free; then along comes Ultima. Ultima, an old woman who works with herbs and magical powers, comes to visit Antonio and hisfamily on the Ilano. With her, she brings her magic, her views, and her perspectives on life--and she has chosen to pass these things down to Antonio before she dies.
     It is clear throughout the story that both Ultima and Antonio have magical powers. It is unclear, however, if Antonio's powers have been given to him or lent to him from Ultima, or if he has had the magic inside of him from the very beginning. Antonio's dreams seem to foretell the future. From the very beginning, Antonio sees Ultima by his mother's side while he was being bom in a dream. Antonio's dreams seem to foreshadow several events in this novel.
     Up to the point where Ultima visits, Antonio has it in his mind that it is his destiny to become a priest. He is to follow his mother's belief system, which consists of strict, traditional rules; Antonio's mother is Catholic, and she practices her religion very strictly. This belief system is shaken when Antonio not only witnesses, but becomes a part of, Ultima's cure for Uncle Lucas. Uncle Lucas is dying, and the Priest's past attempts to save him had failed. So, the family turns to Ultima as a last resort. Ultima agrees to treat him, but requests Antonio come with her. During the cure, Antonio experiences weird feelings, most of these feelings painful and unpleasant. It is like he has taken some of the burden of the pain off of Uncle Lucas, helping him overcome his illness. Ultima's cure ends up saving Lucas' life, and Antonio isn't only there to witness it, but actually becomes a part of it. Because the Priest failed where Ultima did not, this really shakes Antonio's whole belief system: "The power of the doctors and the power of the church had failed to cure my uncle. Now everyone depended on Ultima's magic. Was it possible that there was more power in Ultima's magic than in the priest? "(103). At this point, Antonio begins to doubt his destiny of becoming a priest.
     Later on, Antonio learns the story about the golden carp from another boy his own age. Antonio sees the golden carp, which means he is one of the magical people in the town. Not everyone can see the golden carp; the golden carp is considered a pagan god:  "The golden carp is my god, Tony. He will rule the new waters. I will be happy to be with my god. It was unbelievable, and yet it made a wild kind of sense!  All the pieces fitted! "(124).
     At this point in time, Antonio is searching for answers to his many questions about life and what happens afterwards. So far, the church is not providing answers to his questions, but Antonio thinks his First Communion will cause him to know the answers to all of his questions. The carp seems to make more sense to Antonio, but he is not ready to believe in that yet; he will wait for his First Communion. Antonio knows that he is special since he can see the golden carp, and that is it going against his church and his entire destiny if he chooses this path. He cannot both become a priest and believe in the golden carp.
     When Antonio receives his First Holy Communion, and his questions are not answered, he is extremely disappointed: "After Easter I went to confession every Saturday and on Sunday morning I took communion, but I was not satisfied.  The God I so eagerly sought was not there, and the understanding I thought to gain was not there " (235). This is the last nail in the coffin for his future priesthood. At this point, Antonio is looking to the belief system involved with the golden carp.
     So, what does all of this have to do with Ultima passing her powers down to Antonio before she dies? In every instance mentioned here, Ultima moves Antonio one step closer to her belief system, and it is necessary for Antonio to accept Ultima's belief system in order for him to receive her powers. When Antonio becomes part of Uncle Lucas' cure, his absolute certainty that he will become a priest goes away since the Priest failed where Ultima had not. When Antonio learns about the golden carp, this presents a new idea about religion into his life.
     The fact that his First Holy Communion failed to bring about answers to his questions further weakens his ties to the church and further strengthens his belief in the golden carp. Ultima then has Antonio exactly where she wants him. Ultima sees the big picture; she recognizes that all the belief systems have the same thing in common and that you need to approach problems in life with an open mind. You cannot work with Ultima's magic with a closed mind or a fixed belief system. She has to break Antonio's strong ties with the church and introduce something new in his life in order for her to achieve this.
     Antonio will carry on Ultima's work. Antonio will see the entire picture, instead of just the blinded, closed-minded views of a particular religion, which will allow him to use Ultima's magic. Antonio will always have more questions than answers. Antonio will become Ultima's successor.

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

Writing Task

Essay 1 "Bless Me Ultima" by James Brunelle

1.    In the opening paragraph, Brunelle states: “Antonio is torn between three destinies.”  In your own words, describe these “three destinies.”

2.    How many times is the “golden carp” mentioned in the essay?  What is a “golden carp”?

3.    What does Brunelle mean when he says: “He [Antonio] cannot become a priest and believe in the golden carp” (paragraph 2)?

4.    In what way could Ultima’s magic be considered similar to Christianity?  In what way is it different?

5.    What do you think the name “Ultima” implies?

Bless Me Ultima Essay Example

In the story Bless Me Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya, there are clues that are left throughout the story that lead the reader to one of two conclusions depending on how the reader sees the characters and there actions. the first conclusion is that Ultima is a messenger form satin and is working for the devil himself. The second conclusion is that Ultima is a person that walks the earth and preforms miracles and saves lives through the use of her magic and power.

Ever person in the story that hears the word witch immediately thinks evil, I believe that this is not the case. Both Ultima and Tenorio's daughters use the same power and magic, but they use the power and magic in very different ways. I believe that both the daughters and Ultima are witches because they wield the same force and power, they both have extensive knowledge of herbs and the both perform ceremonies to perform there miracles. So in my opinion they are one and the same in terms of what they can do. The difference comes when we look at what they do with there magic. The sisters use it to destroy and kill. Ultima uses her power to heal and save lives. Except for one instance when Ultima uses her powers to slowly kill the daughters of Tenorio. But to me this action was justified.

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Throughout the novel Ultima is always trying to undo the harm and destruction that the Trementina sisters have caused. She does this multiple times. The first time is when she cures Lucas of his lethal curse and in turn reflects the cures back onto the daughters and two of the witches perish for there mistake. The second time that Ultima unravels one of the witch's evil plots is when the witches revive the dead spirits of the ancient Indians and use them to cures the house of Tellez and his family. Ultima is asked to come and help and she does. She performs a ceremony that puts the restless souls at peace and the curse is then lifted. In these two cases Ultima is on the side of good.

Ultima shows that she is a good witch when she heals Lucas and Tony. After Narciso is shot Tony comes down with a nasty little fever and goes into a nightmarish sleep for a while. But Tony always remembers that Ultima was at his side every time he opened his eyes. And every time Tony has a question or is trying to find an answer Ultima helps him to discovery it on his own. From the legend of the Golden carp to the Indians that lived there before them she has given tony a lot of knowledge.

The one side of this story that I could understand Ultima being evil, is the fact that Tony is trying to become a Catholic and he goes to church and finally gets his first Communion and Confession. But throughout the story Tony has witnessed many situations when the magic of a pagan god or another person over powers the power of the church. For instance, when Lucas is dying of the of the witches curse both the doctor and the priests come to try and save him but even the priests cannot. Then comes Ultima who single-handedly destroys the curse, saves Lucas, and reflects the curse back onto the original casters of the curse, the Trementina sisters. And in the process two of the witches die from there own curse. In this case Ultima not only had greater power then modern medicine, but also had greater power then the Catholic Church itself. A second example of this is when Tony heres the legend of the Golden Carp. He heres from Cico that the golden carp is a god that has taken mortal form, and watches over its people. When Tony goes home he asks Ultima about the Golden Carp and she told him that it is true. This is another point in which Ultima is helping Tony find his own path but it could lead away form the church. A third example of UltimaЃfs power being greater then the churches is at the house of the Tellez family. A priest came to the house and blessed that ground making it a holy site. But the curse continued its reign of terror on the family. Finally Ultima comes and in, and in about a day sets the house and family back to normal and removes the curse.

Ultima's reputation must also be considered. Everyone in the town believes that she is a La Curendara or a good witch except for one person and that is Tenorio. He believes her to be an evil witch that needs to be killed. And in the end this rage and hatred culminates in his death. But every other perosn in the story believes that she is a curendara and not a witch. But instead everyone believes that Tenorio's daughters are witches known as the Trementina sisters. The people believe in this so much that they wonЃft even let the bodies of the sisters into the church and Tenorio is forced to bury his daughter on unholy ground. That means that without a blessing from a priest and being buried on unholy ground she will surly got to hell even if she was not a witch.

Another instance in which Ultima's reputation is that of a good witch is when the mob of angry people come to Tony's house and demand that Ultima be tried and convicted as a witch and then punished by death. During this Narciso stands up to the mob and asks them to test Ultima, to see if she is really a witch and they agree. So when Ultima is about to pass through the door Ultima's owl attacks Tenorio and shreds one of his eyes. But during this commotion Ultima passes through the door and is standing on the other side when everybody looks up and sees her outside then they all know that she is a good witch. But at the end of the whole ordeal Tony finds the cross lying on the ground under the door this part leaves you hanging in suspense because the reader dose not know if she is really a witch or not. But I believe that this part of the story adds evidence to my theory that Ultima is a witch but one that does good things not bad.

In this story the owl is a major symbol. The owl in Hispanic culture is an evil bird. And when ever an owl is encountered it is like a curse or bad luck. So I believe that in this story the owl is ment to show the reader that Ultima is a witch but a good one.

So throughout the story Anaya leaves all kinds of hints from the owl to the fact that the Trementina sisters use the same power that Ultima does. I believe that Ultima is a witch in every way possible except for the fact that she uses her power to help people not hurt them, and that's what truly separates good from evil.


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