Bless Me, Ultima Questions and Answers
by Rudolfo Anaya

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In Bless Me, Ultima, are specific symbols used to represent the forces of good and evil in the world?

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There are several examples of symbolism in the novel. Antonio's dreams not only reflect future events in the novel, they actually predict them. They also tell us things about Antonio and his family in the past, such as when Antonio dreams of his own birth. Water is also an important symbol, seen in the golden carp, the religious rituals of the Catholic church, and the native spiritual traditions.

The best example of symbolism representing forces of good is Ultima's owl. The owl is Ultima's soul and is able to distinguish between good and evil. The owl appears after Lupito's death when Antonio is mourning for Lupito's soul. When Ultima and Antonio cure his uncle from the spell of the Trementina sisters, the owl scares the animals away from the house. Tenorio's eye is gouged out by the owl because Tenorio is after Ultima. When the owl dies at the end, Ultimate's protective spirit dies as well, foreshadowing Ultima's death.

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