Bless Me, Ultima

Why is the Virgin in mourning for Antonio in Chapter 4?

Chapter 4 while he is dreaming

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, Antonio is still extremely preoccupied with Lupito’s death and his questions of sin and punishment. The Virgin of Guadalupe is his favorite saint because he associates her with forgiveness and purity. Yet, Antonio is unable to understand how the Virgin could coexist with God if she always forgives sinners and He always punishes sinners. When Antonio dreams of the Virgin wearing mourning for him, he is expressing his own fear that he is sinful instead of good. Indeed, Antonio, as a child, embraces the literalism of religion, finding himself trapped in its inherent contradictions, while still attempting to be faithful to it. Anaya's tone here is neither judgmental nor satiric - simply reflective of a young child's exploratory confusion.