Bless Me, Ultima

by Rudolfo Anaya

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What is the main contention between the two families in the beginning of "Bless Me, Ultima"?

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Tony's father is a man of the llano, a vaquero (cowboy). His people are free spirits who enjoy life. They wander and have dreams. They tend to believe in the old ways of doing things. They are people of the sun.

Tony's mother is from a family of farmers. They are devout Catholics. They are more reserved and believe in hard work. They have great respect for the land and what it can grow. They are people of the moon.

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Tony's father explains it best when he says, "We lived two different lives, your mother and I. I came from a people who held the wind as brother, because he is free, and the horse as companion, because he is the living, fleeting wind—and your mother, well, she came from men who hold the earth as brother. They are a steady, settled people. We have been at odds all of our lives, the wind and the earth." The two families are at odd not only because they have had different occupations, but because they have different beliefs. For example, to Antonio's mother, Christianity is very important.

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