The Theme Of Death In Rudolfo Anaya's Bless Me Ultima

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Death always comes full-circle. Everyone will die at some point, and that moment is not predestined. Life is never guaranteed, and it could be taken from a person abruptly. Surprisingly, almost no one lives in constant fear of death, even though it’s presence is always lurking. The effects of death on people are obvious, and can be seen in their emotions. Sometimes people are traumatized after witnessing death, specifically a violent one, as seen in soldiers with post-traumatic-stress disorder. When a child witnesses such harsh deaths, they struggle to avoid living their life in fear. However, in some cases, the deaths of loved ones strengthen and aid in the growth of those affected by them, as seen in Rudolfo Anaya’s novel, Bless Me Ultima. …show more content…
Ultima 's death, was less grotesque than the others in the novel, yet it still profoundly impacted Antonio. Ultima was Antonio’s best friend and role model. Her death was a direct result of the death of her owl, the embodiment of her soul. The owl was killed by Tenorio, as an act of revenge on Ultima, whom he accused for the death of his daughters (257). Since she could not survive without her soul, she perished. Somewhat surprisingly, Antonio did not show the emotion he had earlier in the novel. Rather than be upset and react negatively to Ultima’s death, Antonio showed his maturity and takes in the positive side of the …show more content…
Antonio’s first reaction to death was negative, as he can be seen running away from the murder scene of Lupito, or fleeing from the places where others had died. Antonio was understandably disturbed by the deaths he had witnessed. Death is a traumatic event, especially when it is witnessed up close, and in as gruesome of a way as Antonio did many times in his young life. After his first encounter with it, Antonio had a dream in which he understands that he is “growing old” (26). This self-realization was essential in Antonio becoming a man. He became aware of the influence the deaths he had witnessed were having on him, and he was able to use this to aid in his maturation. Take, for example, his reaction to the death of Ultima, someone who he was incredibly close with. At first Antonio was saddened by the death of Ultima, and he cried over her, acknowledging that “warm tears” streamed down his face (261). However, rather than running off to be alone and grieving over what he had witnessed, as he had with the other deaths, Antonio stood at Ultima’s side while she was dying. He also had the sense to ask for her blessing, an act that showed Antonio’s growth into a cognizant adult. Further showing his maturation through death, when Tenorio kills the owl, and then when he, himself, is killed, Antonio took charge of the situation. This was the most chaotic event Antonio

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