Study Guide

Bless Me, Ultima The Supernatural

By Rudolfo Anaya

The Supernatural

Bless Me, Ultima is full of witches, healers, god-fish, ghosts, and soul-owls. The supernatural leaves ectoplasmic residue all over this novel. That's what happens when authors delve into what is often called Magical Realism. In Magical Realism, the supernatural often simply becomes a part of everyday life. It's treated no differently than the natural. Magic, in this case, is a part of existence, and while it might frighten some people in the novel, it is not treated as being a figment of one's imagination or something that has been faked.

Questions About The Supernatural

  1. Antonio's dreams often turn out to be more like prophecy. Does Antonio possess supernatural gifts?
  2. What role does the natural world play in Ultima's supernatural practices?
  3. Is there any proof that Tenorio's daughters were, in fact, witches? If so, is their fate justified?
  4. What's up with Ultima's owl? Seriously, what's up with it? Is it Ultima? Is it her familiar? Is it just a really awesome bird that's really in tune with its owner?

Chew on This

Antonio never knows how the cross fell from the door when Ultima walked through it, and the Tenorio daughters do suffer after Ultima comes to cure Lucas, so while Ultima clearly represents the power of Good, she is more closely linked to the brujas than might first be obvious.

While in our modern workaday world, we often leave the supernatural to cleverly titled TV shows like Supernatural, in the novel, the powers of Ultima and the miracles of God or the Virgin di Guadalupe are accepted by the most devout characters, as well as those who question their faith.