Bless Me, Ultima

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The Virgin of Guadalupe Symbol Analysis

The Virgin of Guadalupe Symbol Icon
The Virgin of Guadalupe is a Christian figure, but one with a special meaning for the Mexican and Chicano people. The legend goes that Mary revealed herself to a man in ancient Mexico and asked him to build a church. Antonio sees the Virgin as something separate from the rest of Catholicism – a mother-figure who is willing to listen and forgive, unlike the strict, punishing God. Even though she is a Catholic symbol, for Antonio the Virgin symbolizes something of that "new religion" he resolves to build at the novel's end – she has aspects of several cultures and religions, and feels truer and more comforting to his identity.
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The Virgin of Guadalupe Symbol Timeline in Bless Me, Ultima

The timeline below shows where the symbol The Virgin of Guadalupe appears in Bless Me, Ultima. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1 (Uno)
Growing Up Theme Icon
Language and Culture Theme Icon
Christianity vs. the Supernatural Theme Icon
Antonio starts to fall asleep and he prays to the Virgin Mary. María wants him to become a priest someday, but she does not know about... (full context)
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Christianity vs. the Supernatural Theme Icon
...owl is a comforting, watchful presence. That night he dreams of the owl and the Virgin of Guadalupe gathering the children in Limbo and flying them to heaven. (full context)
Chapter 4 (Cuatro)
Growing Up Theme Icon
Punishment and Forgiveness Theme Icon
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Christianity vs. the Supernatural Theme Icon
...help her brothers with the harvest. After dinner they pray to the statue of the Virgin of Guadalupe, Antonio's favorite saint. He imagines that she is a real person who is... (full context)
Chapter 5 (Cinco)
Christianity vs. the Supernatural Theme Icon
...the devil across the river, but then he hears Ultima's owl and thinks of the Virgin and feels comforted. (full context)
Chapter 7 (Siete)
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...excited. María hears that her sons are returning and she cries and prays to the Virgin for hours, until all the children eventually fall asleep. (full context)
Chapter 9 (Nueve)
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...a grade. She is sure he will become a priest, and immediately prays to the Virgin. (full context)
Chapter 11 (Once)
Punishment and Forgiveness Theme Icon
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Christianity vs. the Supernatural Theme Icon
...bigger than Antonio and covered in golden scales. Antonio feels like he is beholding the Virgin or God, and he trembles at the miracle. He realizes this experience is what he... (full context)
Growing Up Theme Icon
Punishment and Forgiveness Theme Icon
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Christianity vs. the Supernatural Theme Icon
...they argue about what water flows in Antonio's veins – the moonlit water of the Virgin, or the salt water of the ocean which binds him to the golden carp. The... (full context)
Chapter 13 (Trece)
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Christianity vs. the Supernatural Theme Icon
...always punish people, but would forgive them in their lostness and confusion. He thinks the Virgin Mary could be a god like that. (full context)
Chapter 14 (Catorce)
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...won't come down. Horse screams and fights until he is finally convinced to play the Virgin. Abel tries to leave for the bathroom the whole time but Miss Violet won't let... (full context)
Punishment and Forgiveness Theme Icon
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...Narciso, but only if he can also forgive Tenorio. Antonio protests and then sees the Virgin, who says she forgives everyone, even Tenorio. God says Antonio wants a god who punishes... (full context)
Chapter 16 (Dieciseis)
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Knowledge Theme Icon
Christianity vs. the Supernatural Theme Icon
...Tenorio should live. Antonio starts praying after school for answers, and he prays to the Virgin more and more often. He hopes to meet the Virgin of Guadalupe just like the... (full context)
Chapter 17 (Diecisiete)
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Christianity vs. the Supernatural Theme Icon
...he proposes that 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... (full context)
Chapter 19 (Diecinueve)
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...been troubling him, but no answers come. He looks at the church's statue of the Virgin and feels empty. (full context)