What theme is expressed in Chapter 5 of Bless Me, Ultima?   *include textual evidence.

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e-martin | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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The fifth chapter relates to themes of family, togetherness, and loss. We might generalize and say that the chapter expresses the idea of the fragility of family. 

In this chapter, Antonio and his family go to the Luna family's farm (without his father Gabriel) to visit Antonio's mother's family. Uncle Pedro drives them the twelve miles to the el Puerto and they visit with Antonio's grandfather and uncles. 

As the discussion ranges from manners to the excitement of a week's visit to the farm and the work that will be done to help with the harvest, the people who are not present are also mentioned. The recently dead Lupito is a topic of conversation and Antonio's older brothers, still away at war, are also alluded to. 

Antonio overhears his uncle say:

"After his first communion you must send him to us. He must stay with us a summer, he must learn our ways - before he is lost, like the others-"

While the family is together, the discussion of these other figures who are gone creates a sense of importance in this visit and also a sense of vague uncertainty. Life and family are not guaranteed. Yet, the family was still together for now. Antonio's final comment in the chapter is:

"All was watched over, all was cared for."

The contentment in these final words is contrasted to the dangers that lurk outside in the night. Again, there is a sense that the family is a safe "place" but one that must be chosen, defended, and kept up. It is not a natural force like those which threatened it. 

Sources:

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