Tracing The Plot Structure of Rudolfo Anaya’s Novel, Bless Me Ultima
Tracing the plot structure of Rudolfo Anaya’s novel, Bless Me Ultima.
In order to trace the plot structure of a novel you must start with the presentation of the background information, where the reader is first introduced to the main character. In Rudolfo Anaya’s, Bless Me Ultima, the point in the story when a majority of the background information is given is during the introduction to Antonio’s family. In this section, we meet Tony and learn that his family has two contrasting sides to it. We learn that his mother and the rest of the Luna family are city-dwelling Catholics. She wants Antonio to follow the Luna family tradition by becoming a priest. Antonio’s father and the rest of the Márez family are vaqueros. He wants his son to follow the Márez tradition of wandering the llano. We find out that long ago, María convinced Gabriel to move to the town of Guadalupe so that their children could have an education, and Gabriel still misses the life on the open plains of the llano. We also learn that Antonio’s family lives on a hill set apart from the city by the river.
The next point in the plot structure is the point of complication in the storyline. The complication point is where we find out what issue is complicating the lives and relationships of the characters. In Rudolfo Anaya’s, Bless Me Ultima, the point in the story where complication is introduced to Antonio is when the healer, Ultima, arrives at Antonio’s house to live with them. Ultima is a wise and powerful healer but her powers are misunderstood and feared by the townspeople. Antonio is unsure if she is a witch and is confused about the morality of the new belief system that Ultima introduces to him. The story line of Antonio is based primarily on his spiritual maturation and the arrival of Ultima introduces a new spiritual path. Ultima’s spiritual path is one that believes in tolerance, understanding and they believe that different belief systems can provide equally valid ways of perceiving the world. Now Antonio has to decide between more than just being a vaquero or a priest. Now he is aware that there are alternatives available to him.
The following point in the plot structure is the climactic point. The climax point is the moment where the story is at its greatest emotional intensity. In Rudolfo Anaya’s, Bless Me Ultima, the point in the story where emotions are at their climax is the first time that Tenorio comes for Ultima. Tenorio blames Ultima for the death of his daughter after she lifts the curse from Lucas. When he and the mob of townsfolk come for Ultima the first time, they create a test to see if Ultima is actually a witch. They place a cross above the door to the house and insist that if Ultima is a witch she will not be able to cross through the door. A distraction occurs and when it is over Ultima has crossed through the door but the cross has fallen off. The fact that the cross fell off the door serves as a sign that Ultima will not make it to the end of the novel. This scene serves as the climax of emotions, both for the characters in the novel as well as the reader. Tenorio and his mob are furious and want revenge on Ultima, the witch. At the same time the reader is overwhelmed by the new knowledge about Ultima’s inevitable death.