What is the significance of the Golden Carp in "Bless Me, Ultima"?
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In Tony's already confused world of magic versus religion, the Golden Carp signifies yet one more source for his doubts about Christianity. Cico introduces Tony to the Golden Carp, a pagan god who is a symbol of forgiveness, unlike the Christian God who Tony believes is cruel and unforgiving. The carp is beautiful and huge, a true source of awe. At the realization that, contrary to Christian belief, there are other gods, Tony begins to question who his mother is truly praying to- who is Jesus, who is the Virgen de Guadalupe?
Tony's doubts about Christianity further deepen when he makes his First Holy Communion, a religious rite of passage in Catholicism where children eat God's body in the form of a wafer. Antonio expects to hear the voice of God at the moment the takes the Eucharist into his body. He expects that this will be a monumental event and that everything will be clear to him after that. After nothing happens, Tony is utterly disappointed. He wonders why he can see the carp and not God.
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