What will Antonio become when he grows up? A priest? A vaquero? A curandero? A farmer? Antonio’s future is not clear because, at the end of the novel, he has finally decided to choose his own path. Instead of listening to the beliefs of his mother or the desires of his father, he will fulfill Ultima’s encouragement to follow his heart. With this in mind, it seems likely that Antonio will probably become a man of learning according to Ultima, Whether or not this means that Antonio will become a priest as well is uncertain. Considering his questions about religion and morality and his anxieties about sin, it seems as if the life of a priest is not for him. However, no matter what he decides to do when he becomes an adult, the most important thing is that he has learned to make his own path.
“I had more time to spend with Ultima, and in her company I found a great deal of solace and peace.” (Anaya 223) If Antonio found solace and peace with Ultima because of what she did (being a curandera). So why should he give up his solace and peace once she was gone? If becomes a curandero he would give himself solace and peace because of what he would do like Ultima. “I dropped to my knees; bless me, Ultima” (Anaya 260) Antonio asked to bless him right before she died. Antonio did not ask her to bless him in the name of God but a being a curandera. This seems to make Antonio not believe in God but in the powers of curandera. “I bless you in the name of all that is good and strong and beautiful, Antonio. Always have the strength to live.
Love life, and if despair enters your heart, look for me in the evenings when the wind is gentle and the owls sing in the hills. I shall be with you”(Anaya 261) Ultima’s final blessing to Antonio Her statement also gives Antonio a idea with which to understand her death by offering a sequence of physical objects that he can see as symbols of her life and through which he can continue to feel her presence. Antonio will be without Ultima and will have to make his own choices without her guidance from now on, but she makes it clear in this blessing that her spirit will endure with him and that the lessons she has taught him will still serve him well even after she dies.
Courtney from Study Moose
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