What do you think Tony means when he says that "the time of peace on our hill was drawing an end" in "Bless Me, Ultima"?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Up until the evening when he makes the observation that "the time of peace on our hill was drawing to an end", Tony has lived a sheltered, idyllic life with his family at their hillside home.  He is only six years old and has not yet started school; he is innocent as to the vagaries of the world.  That night, the peace he has enjoyed is shattered in a literal sense by the killing of the town sheriff by Lupito, a neighbor whose mind has been poisoned by his experiences in war.  Tony sneaks out of the house and is witness to the shooting of Lupito by the village men in retribution for his crime.

In a wider, symbolic sense, Tony's time of childhood bliss and innocence is also drawing to an end.  The incident involving Lupito and the coming of Ultima awaken him to an awareness of the world around him.  Tony struggles to reconcile the conflicts and contradictions that exist in the business of living; not the least of which are the opposing natures of his parents and the different aspirations they have for him, their youngest son.  As Tony begins to grow in knowledge and experience, he must learn to understand and come to terms with the age old questions concerning identity, the forces of good and evil, and the difference between right and wrong.