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Influences in the Novel Bless me Ultima

Updated on November 12, 2012
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The Influence of Narciso in Bless me Ultima

In the novel Bless Me Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya, the character Narciso greatly influences the protagonist Anthony Marez, especially in the scene where the dying Narciso begs Anthony to give him confession. At the beginning of the novel, Narciso appears to Anthony as the no-good town drunk. His view of Narciso first starts to change when everybody at the bridge wants to kill Lupito and Narciso, the only voice of reason telling them not to kill him. Anthony’s view of Narciso changes a couple more times throughout the novel. In this passage, towards the end of the story, Narciso lies figuratively on his deathbed after having been shot by Tenorio, asking Anthony to give him confession:

“I am not a priest,” I said. I felt his body jerk and stiffen. He was dying.

“Then pray for me,” He said weakly and closed his eyes, “you are pure of heart-“(171)

This event greatly influences Anthony because of it being such a heavy and emotional event to witness. A young boy first witnesses the murder of a friend but then Narciso requests Anthony to give confession to him; what an undertaking. Anthony learns from this affair that adult society acts cruelly to the point of murder but can also act with caring and loving to the point of giving one’s life for another’s. Through Narciso’s extraordinary actions, Anthony learns the characteristics of love, determination, and caring. The effect of this event on Anthony forces him to grow up faster than a boy should, because of being a witness to events and be in situations he should never be in as a child. Narciso influences Anthony in many ways, some good and some not so good, but everything he learns from Narciso makes Anthony a wiser and better person.

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