Theme is the insight about human life that is revealed in a literary work. The theme is not just given to you while you read a book. There can be plenty of themes and they are all seen throughout the book. Theme is different from subject. A subject could be simple like “love”. Theme must be stated in a sentence.
While I was reading “Bless me Ultima” by Rudolfo Anaya, I found plenty of themes throughout the book, but when i was finished with the book I realized that a very good theme would be, “having faith in something will help get through the roughest times in life.” I chose this theme because throughout the story Antonio has faith everything is going down and it also connects with my personal experiences.
Antonio's trials begin when he witnesses the death of Lupito, a man driven mad by his experiences in World War II. After seeing death Antonio begins to wonder about punishment and hell. He starts school, where he has to learn English and is made fun of by the other kids, but his mother hopes he will be a "man of learning" and a priest. Antonio's brothers Andrew, Eugene, and Leónreturn from the war and seem changed. Gabriel wants to move to California with them, but they no longer feel at home and soon leave again.
One day a friend tells Antonio about the golden carp, a pagan god that lives in the river. Antonio also starts to feel more attached to the Virgin of Guadalupe than to God, who seems harsh and unforgiving. Tony's religious doubts grow further when Ultima heals his uncle Lucas from a witch's spell after the priest failed to help him. The spell was cast by the daughters of Tenorio Trementina, a saloon owner who hates Ultima. Later Antonio actually sees the golden carp, and he feels a religious experience similar to what he had expected for his first communion. Then he learns that the carp also plans on punishing sinners with death, and he becomes more conflicted, as it seems like just another punishing god.
Tenorio threatens Ultima, and the family's friend Narciso, the town drunk, defends her against accusations of witchcraft. Ultima's owl tears out Tenorio's eye and he vows to kill both Narciso and Ultima. Tenorio's daughters get sick and he blames her for that as well. On the way home from a Christmas pageant Antonio sees his brother Andrew at a brothel, and then he watches Tenorio kill Narciso and go unpunished. Antonio prays for Narciso's soul and is again disturbed by seeing death so close. Antonio is excited about learning the catechism and taking his first communion, as he hopes for answers to his religious questions. His friend Florence is an atheist and raises many doubts about the unfairness of Catholic doctrine. Antonio finally has his first communion but is disappointed that no divine knowledge comes.
Ultima dispels spirits from the…