Uploaded by Marcus Landon

Essay Quotes and Notes Revised

Bless Me, Ultima Essay Guide
Introduction Paragraph:
___________________________________________ (start with hook, attention getter, important quote*). In the novel,
Bless me, Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya, the main character Antonio, almost seven-years old, deals with a number of
traumatic and life-changing events in order to better understand his destiny. His close relationship with Ultima, a
curandera, or healer, who comes to live with Anotnio for one summer allows Anotnio to better understand good and
evil, nature, religion, and the importance of being a good person. The author explores these complex and contradictory
ideas that Antonio must understand through the use of ___________________________________ (transformative
events, nature, dreams, or symbols).
Body paragraph (need at least 2):
-Topic sentence
-Support with evidence (quote w/ pg number)
-Commentary (mean and matter)
-Clincher (final thoughts)
Conclusion paragraph:
-Refer back opening statement
-Restate thesis (in different words)
-Final thoughts
*Example attention getters: Have you ever wanted to know your destiny?; Part of growing up is learning what your
place in this world is; “Understanding comes with life…as a man grows he sees life and death, he is happy and sad, he
works, plays, meets people—sometimes it takes a lifetime to acquire understanding, because in the end understanding
simply means having a sympathy for people” (248).
Bless Me, Ultima Important Quotes
Passage (with page number)
“…her eyes swept the surrounding hills and through them I saw for the first time the wild beauty of our hills
and the magic of the green river. My nostrils quivered as I felt the song of the mockingbirds and the drone of
the grasshoppers mingle with the pulse of the earth. The four directions of the llano met in me, and the white
sun shone on my soul. The granules of sand at my feet and the sun and sky above me seemed to dissolve into
one strange, complete being” (12).
“He [Lupito] fell forward then clawed and crawled out of the holy water of the river onto the bank in front of
me. I wanted to reach out and help him, but I was frozen by my fear. He looked up at me and his face was
bathed in water and flowing, hot blood, but it was also dark and peaceful as it slumped into the sand of the
riverbank” (22).
“In the hills Ultima was happy. There was a nobility to her walk that lent a grace to the small figure. I
watched her carefully and imitated her walk, and when I did I found that I was no longer lost in the enormous
landscape of hills and sky. I was a very important part of the teeming life of the llano and river” (40).
“I gathered my lunch and slipped out of the room. The strangeness of the school and the other children made
me very sad. I did not understand them. I sneaked around the back of the school building, and standing against
the wall I tried to eat. But I couldn’t. A huge lump seemed to form in my throat and tears came to my eyes”
“It was a beautiful sight to behold, the struggle of the carp to regain his abode before the river dried to a
trickle and trapped him in strange pools of water. What was beautiful about it was that you knew that against
all odds some of the carp made it back and raised their families, because every year the drama was repeated”
“Then the golden carp swam by Cico and disappeared into the darkness of the pond. 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, a thing as miraculous as the curing of my uncle Lucas” (114).
“The walked into the house. I followed, but paused at the door. A faint glitter caught my eye. I bent down and
picked up the two needles that had been stuck to the top of the door frame. Whether someone had broken the
cross they made, or whether they had fallen, I would never know” (135).
“I did not want to accept the knowledge of her words, but I did. I think I knew now that I had followed
Narciso and that I stood with the wind whipping at my back because I had expected to hear my brother’s
name called. For a while I had dreaded that the Marez at the house of the sinful women might be my
“I knew what I had to pray. I had to pray an Act of Contrition for his departing soul, like I prayed for Lupito.
But I had not held Lupito while his body went cold. I had not bloodied my hands with his life’s blood” (170).
“Of course, the dreams that I had during my illness continued to preoccupy me. I could not understand why
Narcisso, who did good in trying to help Ultima, had lost his life; and why Tenorio, who was evil and had
taken a life, was free and unpunished. It didn’t seem fair” (186).
“The llano had come alive with spring, and it was comforting to walk in the hills and see the new birth take
root and come-alive-green. But even in the new season and in the hills there ominous signs. We found tracks
near the junipers that surrounded the house. I asked Ultima about them and she laughed and said it was
someone out hunting rabbits, but I saw how she studied the footprints carefully and the took a dry juniper
branch and erased the prints in the sand” (223).
“I watched closely how they worked the earth, the respect they [Antonio’s uncles and family] showed it, and
the way they cared for living plants. Only Ultima equaled them in respect for the life in the plant. Never once
did witness any disharmony between one of my uncles and the earth and work of the valley” (249).
“In a week I would be returning to school, and as always I would be running up the goat path and crossing the
bridge to go to church. Sometime in the future I would have to build my own dream out of those things that
were so much a part of my childhood” (261).