Bless Me, Ultima

by Rudolfo Anaya

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How do characters Lupito, Narciso, and Florence die in "Bless Me, Ultima"?

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In Rudolfo Anaya's novel Bless Me, Ultima, a work fraught with tremendous emotion and violence, the characters Lupito, Narciso, and Florence meet their respective ends in different ways, yet all have a significant effect on the protagonist, Antonio.

Lupito is a war veteran who suffers incredible mental strain and illness from his time in combat. During a mental breakdown, he murders the local sheriff. Eventually a posse is assembled by the sheriff to kill Lupito. Antonio observes this in hiding, the violent death leading him to serious moral questioning.

Narciso, known as the town drunk, is killed by Tenorio, a morally bankrupt saloon-keeper and barber who learns that Narciso planned to tell Ultima of Tenorio's murderous intent.

Florence dies by drowning in a lake while swimming with a few other boys. This drowning partially symbolizes the character's faithlessness and disdain for the church, as he died before Antonio could show him the Golden Carp.

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Lupito kills the sheriff, and when he is hunted down by the men of the town, they eventually shoot him. Lupito has been in the war, and he has not been the same since he returned. Narciso walks through a blizzard to warn Ultima that Tenorio is threatening her and is killed by Tenorio before he can get there. Antonio witnesses both of these deaths. Florence, the nonbeliever in the story, drowns when he's swimming where he isn't supposed to. HIs death greatly affects Antonio.

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