Bless Me, Ultima

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Bless Me, Ultima Chapter 8 (Ocho) Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Spring comes, and with it the restless blood awakens in Antonio's brothers. They are almost never around, and they ignore Gabriel's talk of California. The spend all their money on alcohol and women. Their parents are worried that they have the "war-sickness," and León does have terrible nightmares that Ultima helps him with. The brothers talk about how suffocated they feel in Guadalupe after seeing the world, and decide they don't want to be tied down to their father's dreams anymore – they are men now.
The brothers offer an example of the quest for identity that Antonio has begun to face – but they are also afflicted with post-traumatic stress, and so can only try to escape the horrors of war. The old, narrow worldviews of Gabriel and María do not relate to them anymore – they have become lost to their parents, to their former way of life, and to an extent to themselves by being changed.
Themes
Growing Up Theme Icon
Language and Culture Theme Icon
The brothers decide to leave Antonio to be the farmer-priest for his mother, and then grow excited and wild at the thought of leaving and being free from their parents' dreams. Antonio fake blesses them as they wrestle around, but then they go off, joking about the girls at Rosie's. Antonio feels that they are lost to him again, and he wishes he could bless them for real.
Antonio acts a symbolic priest again, and he is weighed down with even more of his parents' hopes as his brothers try to shrug them off. His brothers' internal conflict shows the struggle for identity in a different way than it has manifested in Antonio.
Themes
Growing Up Theme Icon
Language and Culture Theme Icon
Christianity vs. the Supernatural Theme Icon