Bless Me, Ultima

In what ways does Antonio change from the beginning of the novel to the end of the novel?

At least 5 ways and beyond the obvious

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I'm not sure what five you are looking for but I can certainly comment on the theme of Antonio's changes. One of the major themes of the novel is Antonio’s loss of innocence. At the opening of the novel, Antonio is an innocent boy, unaware of the dangers and tragedy of life. As the novel progresses, Antonio becomes more and more cognizant of the good and evil present in the world. By the end of the book, Antonio no longer possesses his innocence but has replaced it with wisdom and maturity.

Antonio’s transition from innocence to experience is highlighted through specific trials over the course of the novel. The first of these trials is Lupito’s murder, which sparks Antonio’s anxieties about sin and punishment. The murder of Narciso is another key moment in the novel, forcing Antonio to witness yet another death and also assume the role of a priest to give the dying man comfort. The remainder of Antonio’s innocence is lost with the accidental drowning of Florence. One of Antonio’s closest friends, Florence constantly reminded Antonio that a compassionate God could not exist in such an evil world. With his death, Antonio begins to question whether or not he can believe in a God who could allow Florence to die.

As Antonio feels the loss of his innocence, he looks to religion to answer his concerns. He hopes that his first communion will finally answer all of his questions but is disappointed when God remains silent to him. Feeling betrayed by the Christian God, Antonio looks to the Golden Carp andUltima’s skills to help him reconcile his loss of innocence with his development as a young man. Antonio's mother associates the loss of innocence with sin and corruption, but Antonio eventually understands that loss of innocence is a crucial part of growing up.