Study Guide

Bless Me, Ultima Revenge

By Rudolfo Anaya


Revenge can be an ugly, ugly thing. Most of us get the feeling at least once in a while that we want to get someone back for something they've done to us, but hopefully cooler heads prevail and things don't ever get too messy. That's not the case in Bless Me, Ultima. Revenge, especially when it pertains to Tenorio, transforms men into animals, with rationality and even simply human kindness flying right out the window.

Questions About Revenge

  1. What is the difference between taking action out of a sense of honor and taking action out of a thirst for revenge? Is there a difference? How might Antonio answer this question? 
  2. Does Tenorio have just cause to seek revenge on Ultima? Is he any less or more justified in seeking revenge on Narciso?
  3. Antonio often views God as being unforgiving. Does this mean Antonio sees God as one that seeks revenge for the wrongs done to Him? If so, does this change Antonio's relationship with God? If so, how so? 
  4. Why don't Antonio's father or Narciso take Tenorio down when they have the chance? Seriously, he's trespassing; he's trying to drag Ultima out of the house, so why don't they just drop the guy?

Chew on This

Without Tenorio's desire for revenge in Bless Me, Ultima, Antonio could never truly come to find the answers he's looking for.

Every god-like or spiritual figure in the novel seeks revenge—God, the golden carp, Ultima—except for one—the Virgin de Guadalupe, which tells us that saints are where it's at for our Antonio.