Teacher Guide

Bless Me, Ultima Lesson Plan

Introduction to Bless Me, Ultima

Bless Me, Ultima is a novel set in New Mexico in the mid to late 1940s and featuring Mexican-American characters. It is hailed as one of the great examples of Mexican-American literature. It tells the story of Antonio, a young boy who must grow up with the pressure of his parents’ expectations on his shoulders. Antonio’s life shifts in a major way when a curandera (folk-healer) named Ultima comes to live with them. Ultima has both magical powers and the powers of age and wisdom. Her influence in Antonio’s life helps him grow up and become able to care for others.

Much of the novel comes from author Rudolfo Anaya’s recollections of his own childhood. His memories of his town, the river,...

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