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Bless Me, Ultima

Bless Me, Ultima


by Rudolfo Anaya

Bless Me, Ultima Theme of Fate and Free Will

The first dream Antonio has shows his mother's people and his father's people arguing over what the newborn Antonio will grow up to be. His dream also hints that Ultima is the only one who truly knows Antonio's destiny. Throughout Bless Me, Ultima, he struggles between his mother's blood and his father's blood. Will Antonio be a priest-farmer or a wanderer? It seems as though Antonio's life has already been decided for him. Of course, he grows up pretty quickly, and finds that there are other options in the world.

Questions About Fate and Free Will

  1. Which has more power over Antonio—fate or free will?
  2. Does Antonio's Mother's belief in God keep her from believing in man's free will?
  3. Does Ultima's final blessing of Antonio demonstrate that she believes his future is entirely up to him?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

In the book, neither the God of the Catholic Church nor the golden carp offers a message of forgiveness. If things play out the way these two deities have planned, no matter what Man does, the world is fated to end in destruction. This might be the perfect book to read for the coming Armageddon the History Channel keeps talking about.

There is not one thing that changes Antonio's way of viewing the world. Instead, it his constant questioning and observing the world around him that enables him to start deciding things for himself. Maybe Anaya is suggesting that knowledge is what leads to free will.

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