The Owls In Bless Me, Ultima

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Owls are represented uniquely in many cultures, contrasting from a boogeyman to a wise old owl. This is very similar to the portrayal of people like Ultima. Some consider them curanderas, or magical healers, while others believe they are evil brujas. Bless Me, Ultima is set in 1940s New Mexico, which is important to the plot as the mix of cultures combine to make a superstitious and unique belief system. In Bless Me, Ultima the owl appears in dangerous moments of Antonio’s life. Because the owl is spiritually linked to Ultima, the reader has a reinforced sense that Ultima is watching over Antonio. The Owl in Bless Me, the owl acts as a guardian for Antonio. When Antonio follows Chavez and his father and witnesses Lupito’s death he thinks,…show more content…
In the end of the book. After Antonio followed his father to the river, witnessed Lupito’s death, and saw the owl watching over him, he gets home and Ultima comforts him, Antonio tells us he was, “Startled I looked into Ultima’s brown, wrinkled face. ‘You knew!’ I whispered… And the owl" (24). Antonio realizes here that Ultima was looking after him and knew what he was doing, even when his own parents did not. Additionally, Antonio makes the first connection between the owl and Ultima, where he realizes that the owl was watching him and Ultima knew what he was doing and what he witnessed as if she was there herself. After Antonio finally gets home after the play, he get extremely sick, “And always Ultima was near me, caring for every turn I made in the progress of that hideous journey" (172). We learn that throughout Antonio’s hardest time Ultima is there watching over him, and taking care of him. This is very similar to how the owl watches over Antonio when he is away from the house in potentially dangerous situations. This hints the reader of some connection between the owl and Ultima from their protective natures, especially for Antonio. Antonio rushes to Ultima and discovers her in her dying throes, she says, “When I was a child… 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” (260). This finally gives proof to the reader that Ultima’s spirit was the owl. From this we see how much Ultima was supporting and protecting
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