Bless Me, Ultima

What do the folktales in the story serve?

its for my english packet lol help me?

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Myth or folktales is a very important theme in the novel because it is an underlying presence in the culture that surrounds Antonio. He comes across many different kinds of myths over the course of the book. Some of these come specifically from Native American culture, such as the story of the Golden Carp, while others come from a more general culture of pagan beliefs about the natural world, such as Ultima’s views toward plant life. The combination of these myths with Catholicism is a direct result of the colonization of New Mexico by Spanish colonists. As the colonist communities began to blend with the communities of Native Americans, the result was an amalgamation of cultures in which these myths maintained their importance alongside Catholic doctrine.

The myth of the Golden Carp, in particular, outlines a new set of beliefs for Antonio that he had never considered before. Although these beliefs initially seem to conflict with his Catholic upbringing, Antonio grows to realize that the Golden Carp simply offers a different perspective to the world than Catholicism. Neither is better than the other, but a combination of both is the way to find a satisfying faith. In the same way, Ultima’s explanation of the spirit in the natural world and the presence of the river allow Antonio to gain a broader scope of understanding.

In the book, Antonio’s discovery of these myths helps him to develop his own understanding of faith. By combining the beliefs that he learns from Christianity with the ideas he develops from the Golden Carp and from Ultima, Antonio is able to choose his own path, developing his own identity from all of the religious and cultural ideas available.