How did the characters in Bless, Me Ultima impact Antonio?
Cico, Ultima and Narciso are the three characters that can be argued to have the strongest impact on Antonio's views.
Cico tells Antonio the story of the Golden Carp and takes Antonio to see it. This experience of nature and the idea of a God of nature both help to shape and to confuse Antonio's spiritual outlook.
“If the golden carp was a god, who was the man on the cross? The Virgin? Was my mother praying to the wrong God?”
Ultimately, Antonio's confusion leads to an enriched perspective and a broader view than he began with.
Like Cico, Ultima exemplifies a connection to nature and a humility before nature. She does not instruct Antonio as to what he should believe, but rather helps to show Antonio what is available to believe, what is possible, and how to see the world differently.
She becomes a mentor to Tony, helping him to interpret his dreams and negotiate the dangerous terrain of his quest for self knowledge.
Narciso does not directly speak much with Antonio, but serves as an example of bravery and other positive values. Narciso shows Antonio also that reputation is often not founded in reality, as Narciso turns out to be a noble man despite his reputation as being a weak-willed drunkard.