The supernatural and ordinary reality are worlds that exist side by side. I don’t believe the truth is out there, I believe it is within. To discover the truth and power within is to walk in the supernatural.-Rudolfo Anaya. The supernatural and magic are strong essences presented throughout Anaya’s captivating novel. There are many ways the characters of Bless Me Ultima and even the state of New Mexico reflect his comments.
One of my favorite ways Ultima reflects Anaya’s comments is when she gives her final blessing to Antonio, I bless you in the name of all that is good and strong and beautiful, Antonio. Always have the strength to live. Love life, and if despair enters your heart, look for me in the evenings when the wind is gentle and the owls sing in the hills. I shall be with you” (Bless Me Ultima, pg. 247). This beautiful statement signifies her spiritual being that connects all living things and she assures him that her spirit will prevail with him and the lessons she has taught him will continue to help guide him.
Another example that reflects Anaya’s comments is a conversation Antonio has with his father Gabriel. Understanding does not come that easy, Tony”. You mean God doesn’t give understanding?” Understanding comes with life, he answered, as a man grows, he sees life and death, he is happy and sad, he works, plays, meets people”sometimes it takes a lifetime to acquire understanding, because in the end, understanding simply means having a sympathy for people, ( Bless Me Ultima, pg. 237). In that conversation Gabriel also mentions, Ultima has sympathy for people, and it is so complete that with it she can touch their souls and cure them” . That is her magic” Ay and no greater magic can exist. But in the end, magic is magic, and one does not explain it so easily. That is why it is magic. To the child, it is natural, but for the grown man it loses its naturalness”so as old men we see a different reality. And when we dream, it is usually for a lost childhood, or trying to change someone and that is not good. So, in the end, I accept reality. (Bless Me Ultima, pg. 237). Ultima is wise and mysterious. We are torn between whether she is an ordinary woman with extraordinary power or if she may be of the supernatural world.
A way Antonio reflects Anaya’s comments is when he sees the Golden Carp for the very first time. As he describes, the story Cico told him was unbelievable but it made perfect sense. He then goes home and shares the story with Ultima, and she smiles because she knows. He questions whether he should believe the story or not and Ultima replies, I cannot tell you what to believe… As you grow into manhood you must find your own truths. (Bless Me Ultima, pg. 111-112)
Another aspect that I think really reflects Rudolfo Anaya’s comment, To discover the truth and power within is to walk in the supernatural., are the vivid dreams sequences Antonio has foreshadowing the events that take place in the novel. The dreams help put things in perspective for Antonio as he transforms through his journey. Ultima teaches that things are not always as they seem, and they cannot be accepted that way. The whole must be looked at in order to truly understand. Antonio learns much from his experiences and uses Ultima’s teachings to stay open minded and gain wisdom. In the end, however, Antonio learns that he must go his own path to reach total peace of mind and have the control over his dreams, not letting his dreams control him.
Lastly, when thinking about the supernatural and the ordinary reality of the world, the state of New Mexico provides a great example of how those two things interact. New Mexico has been and is still greatly influenced by the Catholic Church. Prior to the arrival of the Spaniards, the Indigenous people who lived here worshiped very differently. Ultima is also a perfect example of blending cultures. Even though she practices indigenous beliefs she is still respectful of the Catholic Church. She attends mass and never tells Antonio that the things the church professes are wrong. She always encourages him to look within and come up with his own opinions/decisions.
Bless Me Ultima has many themes and shares so much magic and history. Its super natural essence brings a powerful dynamic to the reading and makes it unforgettable. I enjoyed this book and I am glad I was given the opportunity to read it. In conclusion, these a few ways in which the characters of Bless Me Ultima and even the state of New Mexico reflect Rudolfo Anaya’s comments.
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