Bless Me, Ultima

In Bless Me Ultima. What was the significance of Antonio's Dream in Chapter 2

what was his dream about

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Antonio has a number of dreams throughout the novel, from his early dream about watching his own birth to his later dreams about his brothers calling for his help. Anaya uses the recurrent dream motif to show how Antonio’s interpretations of his thoughts and experiences change as he develops as a character. In his early dreams, for instance, Antonio is largely preoccupied with the question of his destiny, of whether he will become a vaquero or a priest. But in his later dreams, he is preoccupied with much larger questions of family, morality, and duty. This gradual transformation, traced in dreams, reflects Antonio’s growth from childhood to maturity. His dreams also offer him a rich and variable set of images and symbols with which to understand his own life.


In his second dream of the novel, Antonio reiterates his anxieties about his future and his family. His three brothers have already determined their Marez blood and will spend their lives wandering. Antonio wants to keep the family together and support his father, but his brothers insist that he becomes a priest to make his mother happy. Again, Antonio is torn between two parents and two paths. His religious ambivalence is also highlighted in this dream when Antonio identifies the wailing in the river as first, la Llarona, a mythical figure from New Mexican folklore, and then, as Lupito’s soul. However, Antonio accepts neither the pagan explanation nor the Catholic explanation as the truth. Instead, he determines that the wailing is the presence of the river, neither Catholic nor pagan, but simply an element of nature.