Bless Me, Ultima

by Rudolfo Anaya

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Research the practice of curandismo (native healing) in the Southwestern United States, and evaluate Anaya’s portrayal of the curandera Ultima.

Discuss the ways in which Anaya uses paired ideas or dualities to develop the themes in Bless Me, Ultima.

Contrast Anaya’s depiction of the Catholic belief system with his portrayal of pagan beliefs (as represented by Ultima and the Golden Carp).

Bless Me, Ultima is told from the point of view of the main character, Antonio, who is a six-yearold boy. In what ways does the use of the firstperson narrator affect the impact of the story?

Rudolfo Anaya, in an interview with Feroza Jussawalla, defined the “New World person” as one who takes his perspective from indigenous history and spiritual thought and mythology and relationships. The New World person is a person of synthesis, a person who is able to draw, in our case, on our Spanish roots and our native indigenous roots and become a new person, become that Mestizo with a unique perspective.” Explain how the character Tony fits into Anaya’s definition of the New World person.

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