Antonio's Loss Of Innocence In Bless Me, Ultima

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One of the many themes in the novel, Bless me, Ultima is Antonio’s “loss of innocence” throughout the months upon the arrival of Ultima, the curandera. At the beginning of the novel, Antonio is an innocent boy, protected from reality thanks to his age and parents. As the novel progresses, Antonio becomes aware of the bad and the good in life. Antonio’s transition from innocence to experience is shown through particular events.

The first time Antonio feels the loss of innocence is through the death of Lupito, a mad man shot by a mob for killing the town’s sheriff. Lupito’s death affected Antonio greatly for it being the first traumatic death he has ever seen, but later triggered the questioning of life after death once you have sinned against
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A certain loss in Antonio’s life is his late friend , Florence, a classmate sincerely against God. Antonio is saddened and worried about Florence and attempts to let Florence at least believes in something, like the Golden Carp. Before Antonio can introduce Florence to the peaceful pagan god and make him realize that not all gods are powerful and intimidating, Florence dies drowning. After the drowning of Florence, Antonio is forced to question the restriction of Catholicism, once again. Antonio looks in the direction of religion for help as he can feel the innocence fading. He hopes that after taking his First Communion he will be free from all of the questions in his mind, but is disappointed by the lack of answers God gave him. As he questions his belief in God, Antonio is introduced to the consoling pagan god, the Golden Carp.“The Golden Carp,” I whispered in awe. “I could not have been more entranced if i had seen the Virgin, or God himself… I felt my body trembling as I saw the bright golden form disappear. I knew I had witnessed a miraculous thing, the appearance of a pagan god… And I thought, the power of God failed where Ultima’s worked; and then a sudden illumination of beauty and understanding flashed through my mind. This is what I had expected God to do at my first holy communion! (ch. pg. ). The introduction of the Golden Carp makes Antonio aware and open to magic…show more content…
Ultima dies from the vengeance of Tenorio after Ultima indirectly killed his daughters for ruining innocent people’s lives and destinies. Tenorio found out that the only way to kill Ultima is through her spirit or her owl. Tenorio kills the owl and so does Ultima. Before death crept in Ultima’s veins she whispered to Antonio “Bless me, Ultima--” Her hand touched my forehead and her last words were, “I bless you in the name of all that is good and strong and beautiful, Antonio. Always have the strength to live. Love life, and if despair enters your heart, look for me in the evening when the wind is gentle and the owls sing in the hills. I shall be with you--” (ch. pg. ). Ultima says to Antonio that he must develop his own value system and to define his own identity. The death of Ultima showed the love and respect he had for her, but also represented his last look on his innocence Antonio’s mother associates the loss of innocence with sin and corruption, but Antonio eventually understands loss is important for growing

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