Bless Me, Ultima

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The Golden Carp Symbol Analysis

The Golden Carp Symbol Icon
Antonio discovers the golden carp at a time when he is starting to doubt his mother's Catholicism. The golden carp is supposedly a god sent to guide the other carp, who were once ancient people who sinned. Tony can actually see the carp and feel a sense of enlightenment, as opposed to the seeming ineffectiveness of the Christian God. The carp at first represents the ancient Native-American ways and an alternative to Catholicism (and so another half of Tony's religious struggle), but later Tony learns that the carp also plans on drowning the town's sinners, so it then seems like yet another unforgiving male god.
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The Golden Carp Symbol Timeline in Bless Me, Ultima

The timeline below shows where the symbol The Golden Carp appears in Bless Me, Ultima. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 7 (Siete)
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Christianity vs. the Supernatural Theme Icon
...giants, and they tell him about the wide world they have seen, and mention the golden carp , and ask Antonio to save them. He wakes up sweating and then sees that... (full context)
Chapter 9 (Nueve)
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...himself into a carp so he could take care of them. He became a huge golden carp , and he still lives in the river. Antonio is shaken by Samuel's faith in... (full context)
Chapter 10 (Diez)
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Antonio tries to learn more about the golden carp but Samuel is gone for the summer. Gabriel, meanwhile, is sad that his sons have... (full context)
Chapter 11 (Once)
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...he hears someone calling his name. Cico appears and says he will show him the golden carp , but first he makes Antonio swear to never kill a carp. They head off... (full context)
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Cico says no one knows about the golden carp except him and Samuel, and it is only a feeling that made them trust Antonio.... (full context)
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...to a secluded pond on a clear creek called El Rito. They wait for the golden carp , speaking only in whispers, and Cico takes out a spear to hunt the evil... (full context)
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Cico points and then salutes, and the golden carp appears. It is bigger than Antonio and covered in golden scales. Antonio feels like he... (full context)
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...says it is only a game between him and the fish. They wait and the golden carp returns. Antonio worries that a fisherman will catch and kill the carp, but Cico says... (full context)
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...all the strange and magical things he has learned. Cico tells the prophecy of the golden carp . After the old people were turned into carp, new people came to the valley... (full context)
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Antonio asks Ultima about the golden carp , and she smiles and says she cannot tell him what to believe. When he... (full context)
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That night Antonio dreams of all the dead people in the waters of the golden carp . His parents have been spared, but they argue about what water flows in Antonio's... (full context)
Chapter 12 (Doce)
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Antonio spends the summer thinking of the golden carp and Ultima's cure of Lucas. Gabriel starts drinking more and often complains about how his... (full context)
Chapter 13 (Trece)
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...mass because she was a bruja. They drive through Guadalupe and Antonio thinks about the golden carp 's punishment of water and God's punishment of fire. He wonders if there is any... (full context)
Chapter 14 (Catorce)
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...beats them as usual. Andrew hangs back and Antonio tells Samuel how he saw the golden carp . Samuel is pleased, but he warns Antonio to watch out for the other kids,... (full context)
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...if he has already lost his innocence somehow, and if it is because of the golden carp . (full context)
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...wants a god who punishes and forgives according to Antonio's whims – but even the golden carp would not give up the power of punishment. (full context)
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When there is no one left the Lunas gather the ashes and evening comes. The golden carp appears. He has decided that everything will be made new, and he has swallowed even... (full context)
Chapter 17 (Diecisiete)
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...maybe God comes in cycles, and maybe when God is gone the Virgin or the golden carp rules in his place. There is a thunderclap as he speaks and Antonio fears that... (full context)
Chapter 18 (Dieciocho)
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...take communion so he will be saved from hell, but Florence refuses. Samuel thinks the golden carp might be a better god for Florence, and he and Antonio decide to show the... (full context)
Chapter 20 (Veinte)
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...fish bait and they ask him to use the power of God, Ultima, or the golden carp to help them. He casts their livers into the river and they all find rest. (full context)
Chapter 21 (Veintiuno)
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It gets warmer and Antonio and Cico go to see the golden carp again. Antonio is still unsure about God, as he failed to heal Lucas or help... (full context)
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The golden carp appears and Antonio feels peaceful and happy at the sight of it. He wonders what... (full context)
Chapter 22 (Veintidos)
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...an altar by pouring pigeon blood on it, Cico defiles the river by spearing the golden carp , and Tenorio murders Ultima by killing her "night-spirit." Antonio cries out "My God, my... (full context)