What is the significance of the dreams that the main character has?

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MaudlinStreet eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Antonio's dreams are his subconscious/spiritual attempt to comprehend what he witnesses/experiences in his waking moments. For example, his first dream is of his birth. The struggle between the Lunas and the Marezes is highlighted here, as the two families fight over gifts and Antonio's ultimate destiny. This reflects the struggle between the values of his father and the values of his mother, which tear him i two directions throughout the novel. At the end, Ultima declares that only she knows his destiny, & Antonio recognizes that she is the key to discovering his true identity.

Other dreams, such as the one of his brothers returning from war, foreshadow events that will shatter the family, & threaten the lives of those he loves. In his dream, his brothers are changed, & eventually break their mother down. In reality, two brothers leave soon after they come home, tired of the small town life & unable to carry on the traditions of their family. Overall, Antonio's dreams are his widow to the truth of what he experiences, guiding him toward his destiny.