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Bless Me, Ultima
by Rudolfo Anaya
Antonio "Tony" Juan Márez y Luna Timeline and Summary
Antonio dreams about his birth and the argument over his future that took place between his mother's family and his father's family. Here comes the big moment: Antonio meets Ultima, and the central relationship of the novel is formed. Poor Antonio witnesses the killing of Lupito. Sadly, this starts a trend of death that kind of sticks with Antonio throughout the book. But it's cool, because Ultima takes Antonio under her wing, and starts to show him the ways of her craft. His eerily prescient dreams continue, the more he learns from Ultima. Like any other student anywhere in America, Antonio goes to his first day of school and gets laughed at by the other kids. It's okay, buddy—Shmoop's been there. At the end of his first school year, Antonio learns he'll get to skip a grade because he's that smart. While fishing with his buddy Samuel, Antonio hears the story of the golden carp and heads down a very confusing road of religious and spiritual questioning and exploration. Along with Ultima, Antonio goes to cure his Uncle Lucas of the witch's curse. And that's where we meet the Big Bad Tenorio, whose daughters have cursed Lucas. When Antonio finally sees the golden carp thanks to his friend Cico, he's never quite the same. He starts to understand that the God of his mother's Church might not be the only god out there. Tenorio comes looking for revenge on Ultima after his daughter dies, and the stuff really hits the fan. Eventually, after months of build up and witnessing two more tragic, untimely deaths, Antonio has the final facedown with Tenorio, who has finally has figured out a way to kill Ultima. Antonio tries to save the woman, but he's too late, because Tenorio has killed Ultima's owl, which holds her soul. As her final wish, Ultima asks Antonio to bury the owl, and then she blesses him before passing on. As his final act in the novel, Antonio buries Ultima's owl.