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Bless Me, Ultima Essay

1869 words - 7 pages

Wisdom can only be gained through experience and clarified by speaking with others. In the novel, "Bless Me, Ultima," by Rodolfo Anaya, the main character, Antonio Luna Marez, is on a quest to understand all of the issues present in his life, and gain the wisdom necessary to make important decisions regarding his future. It described the hardships of a young child and how these lessons helped him to begin to understand life. There were many characters within the novel I felt aided in the spiritual development of Antonio, but the one that stands out the most is Ultima, who came to stay with the Marez family because of her old age. Ultima was an essential part of the story, because she provided Antonio with the guidance he needed and yearned for as a growing adolescent. Though she was an central component throughout the novel, the character that I feel who assisted Antonio with discovering spirituality and finding himself, but played a minuet role was Maria Luna Marez, his mother.

Maria Luna Marez, is an extremely devoted Catholic, and tries to raise her children to follow the same ways she has. She is the daughter of a farmer, and the descendant of the first priest of the Luna region. Maria wants very badly for her youngest son Antonio to become a priest. She believes, that he possesses the gift of knowledge, and wants Antonio to follow her Luna-family tradition by growing up to be a calm well-mannered man; she dreams of Antonio becoming a priest, and tries to instill in him the value of knowledge and farming. "You will be like my brothers. You will be a Luna, Antonio. You will be a man of the people, and perhaps a priest (9)," Maria states, as she is trying to tell her son not to worry about his father's brothers, because he will be better than they are. She holds resentment toward the Marez side of the family, telling her son, "Don't speak to me of those worthless Marez and their friends (9)!" She feels, that they are good for nothing drunks, and thieves. She tells Tony that they are too wild, and always moving, hauling their families from place to place.

Maria is a traditional Mexican wife, she feels that children should be well mannered and respect all adults. "-And when he returns, I want you children to show your manners. You must not shame your father or your mother (7)," she tells her children while preparing for the arrival of Ultima. "My mother beamed. Deborah's good manners surprised her, but they made her happy, because a family was judged by its manners (11)," Antonio tries to describe the feelings that his mother has when his sister demonstrated good manners toward Ultima. Maria wants her family to respectable, because those families that are not are talked about in the community. She wants to be the best mother possible, and tries to make them realize that without certain things a family will not survive. She stays home and cooks and cleans for her family, because that is what was customary for the traditional Mexican wife...

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