The story is about the journey of a little boy, Antonio Marez, to manhood as he tries building his person while trying to make sense of the world that he lives in and the people around him. While he was growing up, Antonio, as well as his family, has been learning a lot of life lessons from Ultima. Ultima was known for her supernatural healing powers, magic and wisdom. She has been staying with the Marez family since Antonio was still a little boy. Throughout the story, Ultima has tried to inculcate the lesson of self-sufficiency and independence with regards choices in what to beliefs and morals.
Growing up, for Antonio, with his mother and father had been difficult in terms of making decisions and foretelling what the future offers for him. Torn between the choice of being a cowboy or a priest, Antonio often wondered what was in store for him in the future. Antonio’s mother, Maria, who was a devout catholic, wanted Antonio to become a priest. While his father, Gabriel, wanted him to be a cowboy who wanders through the desserts, just as he was when he was still younger. This often led him to wonder what he would grow up to become.
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As Antonio was growing up, his thoughts were bombarded with several questions about morality, wickedness, and sins that trouble the world. He had several experiences regarding the Catholic ways, his friend’s debunking of the Catholic belief, and the supernatural as he saw in Ultima’s healing powers and other events as such. At one point, Antonio spoke, “God! Why did Lupito die? Why do you allow the evil of the Trementinas? Why did you allow Narciso to be murdered when he was doing good? . . . A thousand questions pushed through my mind, but the Voice within me did not answer.
” These questions he asked during his first communion, and these were the same questions that have been bothering him all along. Through all these confusion, Ultima could only teach him one lesson, and that is his control over his destiny. Regardless of culture, beliefs and morals of the family, religion, etc. who he is, should be what he wants to become. Ultima shows Antonio and his family that there are no limits or boundaries to a person. What’s more important is how good a person one becomes despite all conflicting encounters or experiences.
Ultima always told him to take everything that he has learned, whether it be from the Virgin Mary, the Golden Carp, or the magic of supernatural healing, and make a new and better person out of it. He thought, 'Take the llano and the river valley, the moon and the sea, God and the golden carp-and make something new,' I said to myself" (Anaya, 247) Antonio has really learned his lesson, as he said, “I had been afraid of the awful presence of the river, which was the soul of the river, but through her I learned that my spirit shared in the spirit of all things" (Anaya, 15)
Antonio remembers everything that Ultima has said to him, and eventually these things have shaped him into a morally independent person, capable of making decisions and believing in things on his own. He remembers what Ultima has said to him, "There are so many dreams to be fulfilled, but Ultima says a man's destiny must unfold itself like a flower, with only the sun and the earth and water making it blossom, and no one else meddling in it-" (Anaya, 223)
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The Journey of Antonio Marez: Building Personhood and Making Sense of the World. (2016, Aug 12). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/catholic-belief/
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