Plot and Conflict

Bless Me, Ultima

Plot and Conflict

The story focuses on the maturation of a six year old boy, Antonio, who lives in the llano of New Mexico during the World War II. As Antonio blossoms, he becomes exposed to other cultures and develops an aspiration to begin his self discovery. Antonio's journey to find his own course in life truly flourishes when Ultima, a folk healer, comes to join his family. As their relationship grows, Ultima reveals the force of the spiritual world and strengthens Antonio's curiosity. Antonio is lead to question everything he once believed in.

As the novel expand, Antonio's concerns and fears escalate and become entangled as he has a hard time trying to understand the events surrounding his life. His questions grow stronger as he faces new ideas of religion, such as the culture involving the golden carp and Ultima's supernatural traditions. Antonio is confused on how to balance the new religious information with his Catholic upbringing, and he does not know how to deal with the possibility of conflicting beliefs. Under Ultima's guidance, Antonio starts his journey toward manhood, but begins to doubt the Catholic religion taught by his parents, the relationship between good and evil in the world, and judgement. Antonio continues to face conflicts that challenge him from understanding the world around him.

In addition, Antonio copes with the pressure from his family. Antonio's mother and father come from two contrary families, the Marez and the Luna, so they each have different expectations for Antonio. His mother wishes for him to become a priest, while his father begs for him to continue the vaquero brotherhood. Antonio aims to meet the exceptions that are set for him by the community, by his family, and by his religion. However, with his community's clashing cultures, Antonio is often bewildered and struggles on how he can reconcile the various cultures in his own life. Through a series of mysterious events, Antonio must free himself from his family ties, and discover himself by answering questions to his destiny.