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Quotes

Quote #1

I shuddered and my heart turned cold at the thought. The cuentos of the people were full of tales of evil done by brujas. (1.19-121)

Anaya accomplishes a whole lot with this just one line about Antonio's fear. Just from this, the reader knows that Antonio and his people fully accept that the power of brujas (witches) is real, so we get the whole magical realism thing going early. Anaya (through the narrator Antonio) also establishes that young Antonio starts the novel afraid of Ultima, which definitely gives their relationship a place to go throughout the rest of the book.

Quote #2

I heard Deborah reassuring Theresa that she would take care of her, and then she took Theresa in her arms and rocked her until they were both asleep. (1.443-445)

Deborah and Theresa (and Antonio, for that matter) are frightened by the sounds Ultima's owl makes on the first night Ultima comes to stay with them. This reinforces the idea that initially not everyone in the house is on board with the magical old lady being there. More importantly, though, this line provides one of the few times that we see how much Antonio's sisters actually care about each other. The girls sort of get short shrift in this book, so this is a nice moment that hints at how important each one is to the other.

Quote #3

I had never felt such fear before, because as the whirlwind blew its debris around me the gushing wind seemed to call my name. (6.156-158)

After Ultima blesses Antonio for the first time, Antonio recalls this story about how God punished him once in the form of a whirlwind. He equates that whirlwind to the effect that Ultima's first blessing had on him. He's equally afraid and stunned. It might be simple to look at, but this sentence (and the few that follow) is big time. This is the first moment when Antonio even dares to think that there may be power in the world equal to that of God's.

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