After Antonio's dream in Chapter One, concerning the fight between the Marezes and the Lunas, why does he wants to see Ultima?

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MaudlinStreet eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Antonio's dream, he witnesses his own birth. Tony's dreams are very important throughout the novel, and this first represents his awareness of his identity, & the beginning of his search for meaning. He realizes the two families that live in him, comes to understand the conflict between their beliefs.

On the one hand, he has Marez blood from his father. The members of that family are traditionally vaqueros, who ride the land and remain free from ties to any one place. On the other hand are the Lunas. These relatives are traditionally farmers. Their life comes from the earth; they are forever tied to its bounty. Tony witnesses the conflict even in their gifts: The Marezes bring rope, bridles, etc. The Lunas bring vegetables and other crops. An argument breaks out between the two halves of Tony's family, over what Tony will grow up to be. This is also the battle Tony must fight throughout the story.

In this dream, Tony also realizes that another person was present, & this one person knows how Tony's life will turn out, what his destiny will be. This person is Ultima. At his birth, she stops the argument by calling out "Only I know his destiny." Thus, Tony seeks Ultima in order to discover his destiny. He needs to know what he will become, and how he can reconcile those two halves of his soul.

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