Bless Me Ultima By Anaya Rudolfo

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Bless Me Ultima by Anaya Rudolfo is a novel about a young boy, Antonio, whose conflicted ancestry causes him to question many of the beliefs instilled in him. As Mexicans, his father is a descendant of the Spanish conquistadors and his mother is a descendent of the indigenous people who, instead of continuing to fight a losing battle, decided to compromise by adopting much of the Spanish culture. The coexistence of two cultures is referred to as syncretism. All Antonio’s young life has been dominated by this syncretic conflict, though he is expected to eventually choose between the two sides of his ancestry, either the pastoral life of his mother’s indigenous side posed by farming or the priesthood, or the warring side posed by his father’s ancestors, the Spanish conquistadors (Themes: Theme Analysis, n.d.) Ultima convinces him that his fate does not lie in his ancestry alone; rather his fate lies in his own conviction irrespective of ancestry; the decisions he makes need not defer to either side of his ancestry (Theme Analysis: Coming of Age, n.d). Even Antonio’s father comes to terms with the indigenous side of Antonio’s ancestry when his warring sons desert him in order to roam free. His father defers to his own well-being irrespective of his ancestry, as he does not want to lose his sons. His brothers too feel that they had made a mistake when choosing one side over the over, but they are who they are based on their past decisions. They feel it is too late for them to change. Antonio, too, begins to learn that at a young age that any decision he makes must be one which arises out of his own convictions. If his father had based his decisions on similar grounds, maybe his sons would not have deserted him. Just as when the indigenous people of Mexico kept their traditions by blending the Spanish into their own, Antonio too can defer to his own brand of

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