Magical Realism In Bless Me, Ultima

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The Spirit of the Llano
Magical realism is when magical elements or illogical scenarios appear in an otherwise realistic or normal setting. In Bless Me, Ultima there are many elements of magical realism which occur in the sacred town Tony Marez spends his childhood in. Tony is the character Rudolfo Anaya uses to share personal experience he had as a child. From start to finish, the story consistently portrays imagery and personification to give the land of New Mexico a life of its own. Tony describes his magical experience when he first meets Ultima as “her eyes swept the surrounding hills and through them he saw for the first time the wild beauty of their hills and the magic of the green river. My nostrils quivered as I felt the song
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This literary technique equally contributes to the concept of magical realism. Specifically when Ultima is near death, and explains, “When I was a child,” she whispered, “I was taught my life’s work by a wise old man, a good man. He gave me the owl and he said that the owl was my spirit, my bond to the time and harmony of the universe.”(262) The foreshadowing from the owls death, also gives a reason for Ultima’s death. Once again, the owl gives Tony confidence and encouragement as he is crossing the bridge, “At the big juniper tree where the hill sloped to the bridge I heard Ultima's owl sing. I took confidence from its song, and wiping the tears from my eyes I raced towards the bridge, the link to town.”(59). The clannish bond between Ultima and Tony connects the comfort from the owl as well. The magical realism that comes from Ultima throughout “Bless Me, Ultima” effects Tony’s childhood and provides learning experiences. The loss of Tony’s innocence from situations he counters plays an important role in the maturity he develops by the end of the story. As he is guided by Ultima, lessons are learned and she encourages him to be whatever he wants to be, and grow up into someone that he will be proud of. Magical realism overall contributes to his childhood experiences and his interactions with the world, which shape him into the man he

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