What is the theme of "happiness versus truth" in the book "Bless Me, Ultima"?  

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Jessica Akcinar eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The theme of "happiness versus truth" is apparent in the novel in Tony's coming of age and loss of innocence. Tony's life is happy and carefree as a six-year-old child. Then came Lupito's murder which symbolized the beginning of Tony's loss of innocence and, ultimately, his restlessness and unhappiness.

In his transition from innocent six-year-old to experienced / knowledgeable pre-adolescent, Tony experiences and witness several events which changed his life and opened his eyes to the evils in the world. After the first few eye-opening events, Tony wishes to gain more knowledge of why there is evil in the world. However, the more truths Tony experiences and learns, the more he is disappointed, moving away from his previous state of happiness. Religion does not seem to satiate his dissatisfaction and curiosity, and the more he finds out about his family, the more they reveal themselves to be less than admirable or good role models (i.e. Andrew and the prostitutes; his father's involvement in Lupito's death; his brothers' abandonment of the family, his parent's relationship, etc.), further shattering his once happy world.

In essence, Tony the more truth Tony learned, the less happy he became.