Bless Me, Ultima

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Bless Me, Ultima Chapter 15 (Quince) Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Nobody cares much about Narciso's death, as he was the town drunkard, and there is only Antonio's word to accuse Tenorio so the coroner declares it an accident. Antonio has pneumonia and stays in bed for several days. Andrew acts uncomfortable around Antonio and apologizes that he had to see Narciso die, but Andrew doesn't know that Antonio saw him at Rosie's. Christmas comes and Ultima tells Antonio stories about Narciso when he was young and dignified.
The Catholic society of the town condemns Narciso as a drunk, which leads to the coroner ignoring obvious signs of murder. This prejudice and unfairness is so blatant that Antonio's faith in the judgment of society and the church cannot help but be shaken. Andrew feels even more uncomfortable in Guadalupe with his new guilt for Narciso's death.
Themes
Punishment and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Language and Culture Theme Icon
María arranges that Antonio will start his catechism in the spring, and then take communion and have knowledge of God. She repeats her dream that he become a priest. She also wants him to stay with the Lunas during the summer and learn their ways. She likes to listen to Antonio read in English, even though he hasn't mastered it yet.
María knows that a good priest must know English now – she accepts the encroaching reality of English-American culture upon the valley, and is able to appreciate and admire bilingualism in a way that some Chicanos do not.
Themes
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Knowledge Theme Icon
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Christianity vs. the Supernatural Theme Icon
Eugene and León arrive one day in a police car. They say they had their own car but wrecked it on their way home. That night they go into town with Andrew and Gabriel gets drunk at home. The next day Gabriel is sad and reminds his sons of the old days before the war, when they all used to work together. He starts crying and the boys try to cheer him up. Gabriel immediately goes out to fix the windmill, which is a very dangerous job. The brothers feel worried and guilty as they watch him work, but Gabriel returns looking more satisfied with himself. The next day all three brothers leave – Andrew goes too and drops out of high school. Antonio wonders if his brothers will always be lost to him.
The tension grows between Gabriel and his older sons, as Gabriel still has difficulty accepting the changes in his family and longs for his idealized version of "the old days." He is able to find strength in his own individual work, however, as he is still a vaquero at heart. The brothers are truly lost and alienated from both Anglo-America and the culture of Guadalupe by now. They do not return for the rest of the novel.
Themes
Growing Up Theme Icon
Language and Culture Theme Icon