Ultima as Earth Mother in Rudolfo Anaya's "Bless Me, Ultima"
Bless Me, Ultima is a bicultural novel of a young boy's journey into manhood. It is a story of a young boy who learns to walk in two contrasting cultures.
The dual cultures that influence Antonio Marez's life create a personal conflict and turmoil in him; but he is able to resolve these dilemmas due to the spiritual nurturing by an Earth Mother--Ultima. Ultima, a curandera (folk healer), is the center of Antonio's world and guides him to understand the beauties and contradictions in humanity. As a mentor, Ultima aids Antonio in his search for values and principles in which to believe.
Anaya's character Ultima possesses certain characteristics which guide Antonio through the hypocrisy, contradictions, and flawed dogma. Ultima's role as Earth Mother is assessed and viewed for the standpoint of the two cultures that are blended, yet in conflict, in a singular region and in a singular people.