Cultural Syncretism In Bless Me, Ultima

1333 Words6 Pages
When growing up, one can second guess their beliefs and who they are. This usually happens when people are introduced to other ideas. This helps them create their own identity, and solidify who they are and their beliefs. This can lead to even more opinions in societies with more cultural syncretism which leads to clashing between religious and cultural ideals. In the novel “Bless me, Ultima”, Rudolfo Anaya uses the cultural and religious syncretism in the society of New Mexico to display juxtaposition between the Luna and Márez, as well as Catholicism and the Golden Carp, to help Antonio solidify and change his beliefs, displaying the consequences and results of cultural syncretism. Anaya uses the contrast of the Golden Carp and Catholicism…show more content…
This is exemplified when in Antonio’s dream of his birth, his father’s family further shares of how they want for Antonio to continue in his father’s vaquero legacy, and become a Márez, “Gabriel, they shouted, you have a fine son! He will make a fine vaquero!” (5). From the beginning of the book, it is shown how Antonio’s parents have colliding views on how Antonio’s legacy should be shaped. His mother wants for Antonio to become a priest to bring honor to the family, while his father wants for him to be a vaquero while staying true to himself. This can is shown when his mother says, “‘‘ You will be a Luna, Antonio. You will be a man of the people, and perhaps a priest.’ She smiled. A priest, I thought, that was her dream.” (9). Antonio is subject to constant expectations by both of his parents of whose legacies they want him to follow. His mother wants him to be a priest, following in the footsteps of his mother’s Catholic family. Meanwhile, his father wants Antonio to be a true Márez, a vaquero, not to be a priest. The way his parents view his life and how it will affect their family are also telling to their perspective of life, and show how Antonio’s perceptions of the world are warped by his parents’…show more content…
Another way that his family’s syncretic culture develops Antonio as a character is his perception of the world surrounding him, and how he views the perspectives of those surrounding him. This is portrayed in the cultures of his parents, “These were the people of my father, the vaqueros of the Llano. They were an exuberant, restless people, wandering across the ocean of the plain.” (6). His father’s perspective of life is one that is often restless, which is also portrayed in how Gabriel wants to move to California to search for success and fight for a better life in the new world. In contrast to his father’s view of life, Antonio’s mother has a much different opinion. Antonio’s mother felt differently about what Gabriel wants for Antonio as, “My mother was not a woman of the Llano, she was the daughter of a farmer. She could not see the beauty in the Llano and she could not understand the coarse men who lived half their lifetimes on horsebacks.” (2). Anaya builds upon the different perspectives on life through both of Antonio’s parents ' cultures and upbringing, to exemplify the range of cultures in a syncretic society like New Mexico, as well as the added information to the formation of opinions and outlooks on life. Because Antonio is subject to so many different opinions due to syncretism, especially in religion and
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