November 29, 2016
The Color Black and Frightening Diction in Bless Me, Ultima
The world we live in today makes it seem as though humans aren't able to agree on anything. However, civilizations throughout the globe appear to have the general impression that black is associated with evil. The Chicano culture from Bless Me, Ultima is definitely not an exception. In the book, Rudolfo Anaya applies the common archetype of the color black and terrifying diction to instill a sense of uneasiness, which ultimately denotes evil by giving a hellish bass a black coloration to stress its symbolism of sin, characterizing Tenorio as nefarious, and blackening the setting to foreshadow wicked events.
To begin with, Anaya applies the archetype of blackness in an effort to show the representation of sin in the black bass. This is displayed when Antonio and Cico visit the golden carp at the hidden pond. After the golden carp leaves, a "monstrous black bass . . . [with an] open and red mouth . . . [with] eyes [glazed] with hate . . . in the churning water" appears (Anaya 114). This occurred at the precise moment when Antonio is about to pray because he believes that if God was witness to his beholding of the golden carp, he had sinned. This is because Christianity conflicts with pagan gods such as the golden carp and this thought led to the bass appearing. This black, grotesque abomination symbolizes the Antonio's sin of his biblical transgression of breaking God's Second Commandment: "Thou shalt have no other gods". Anaya also utilizes the vile diction of words such as red, hate, and churning to give the bass a further sense of malice. Therefore, since sin is representative of evil, the black coloration of the bass concurs with the notion that black is related to evil. This effectively brings out the hateful nature within the...