Bless Me Ultima Review Questions

How old is Antonio when Ultima comes to live with his family?

Almost seven

Why does Ultima live with the Marez family?

She is old and lonely and the Marez family wants to return a favor

Describe the setting of the novel

New Mexico
Near the llano
Near El Puerto
Las Pasturas

Name and describe the member of the Marez family

Antonio-youngest child
Andrew-second son
Eugene-third son
Leon-oldest son
Deborah-oldest daughter
Theresa-youngest daughter

What was Ultima's occupation?

Curandera, or natural healer(not a doctor)

What was the conflict between Gabriel and Mar�a concerning Antonio's future?

About whether he would be of the Marez or Luna bloodline, vaquero, or priest/farmer

What pet did Ultima bring with her?


Describe the incident with Chavez?

Chavez came to the Marez family talking about how Lupito had killed Chavez's brother, the sheriff, and he took Gabriel with him to shoot Lupito, which the eventually did

What did Ultima and the family call Antonio, and why?

They call him the inquisitor because he asks many questions

How did Antonio become a part of the gang with Abel, Bones, and Horse?

When he saw them around the side of church and he threw Horse which is when he joined their gang

How did Ultima feel about plants, the river, and other parts of nature?

That they all have spirits

What did the Marez family always do after supper?

Pray the rosary

How did Ultima describe the Luna and Marez families?

She says the Lunas are quiet like the moon and that the Marez are wild like the ocean

Why did Antonio's family go to El Puerto?

To visit the Luna side of his family

How did Antonio describe the time spent in El Puerto?

He enjoyed it

How did Antonio feel about going to school?

Excited and sad to be away from his mother

What was Antonio's biggest obstacle in school?

His difference in culture(Hispanic) and lack of English proficiency made him an outcast among the children

What did Antonio discover about his cultural background on the first day of school?

Antonio discovered that his Mexican traditions were different

What did Gabriel Marez want to do once his sons returned from the war?

Move to California

What did Antonio's brothers talk about doing, and what were their opinions on the subject?

Moving somewhere else and Andrew and Eugene wanted to leave while Andrew wanted to stay and he left later. Also, they talked about Marez blood and how Antonio would fulfill their parents' dreams

What was Antonio's dream in Chapter 9 about?

Seeing the women in Rosie's house and his brothers entering as well as loosing his innocence

What was the conflict between the Marez boys and their parents?

They wanted to leave and live their lives but their parents wanted them to stay and fulfill their(the parents) dreams

In Mar�a's opinion, what was the cause of the boys' desires?

Their Marez blood

What did the boys finally do?

Leon and Eugene finally left but Andrew stayed

Antonio asked Andrew if he (Andrew) would become a farmer or a priest. What was Andrew's reply?

That he cannot be one because it is too late(or fulfill his parents' wishes)

What happened to Antonio at the end of first grade?

He got promoted two grades to third grade

Briefly retell Samuel's story of the carp, including the golden carp.

Ancient people who lived in current-day New Mexico were given fruitful lands in the valley but they were not allowed to eat the carp. Once there was a drought and the people had to eat the carp to survive. The Gods were angry and wanted to kill the people

What was the supposed cause of Uncle Lucas's illness?

The daughters of Tenorio who laid a curse on him

Who was Tenorio Trementina?

An evil and ugly man who had three daughters and owned a saloon in El Puerto. His wife had been known to work spells

Briefly describe the way Ultima cured Lucas

Gave him multiple potions to make him vomit out the hair used by Tenorio's daughters to lay the curse

What did Antonio discover about Narciso?

That he plants by the moon and stays drunk through the spring

How did Antonio feel when he saw the Golden Carp?

He was excited and surprisedbut torn over which God to believe

What feeling did Antonio and Cico share?

The presence of the river and the lakes

How did Cico say the Golden Carp would punish people?

The land would sink when it could not take the weight of sins

Antonio described his mother's definition of learning to sin. What was it?

Losing one's innocence and becoming a man was learning to sin

What did Antonio learn from Ultima's stories?

The stories and legends of his ancestors and of their glory and tragedy

Why were Tenorio and the men coming to the Marez home?

Tenorio's daughter died and as revenge, Tenorio brought the men to suspect Ultima of being a witch and to kill her

What did Narciso do say to shame the men who came with Tenorio?

Told them did not need darkness to hide their deeds; that they were out playing vigilantes

Of what did Tenorio accuse Ultima?

Of being a witch and killing his daughter

What was the test for being a witch, and did Ultima pass it?

A witch could not walk through a door with the sign of a cross, and she passed it

What happened to Tenorio?

His eye was scratched out by Ultima's owl

What did Antonio find on the ground after the men had gone?

The two needles that had been used to make the cross

About what was Antonio thinking as the family rode to El Puerto?

Whether there was a forgiving God, why the Golden Carp and God chose to punish the people, and if the Virgin Mary was forgiving.

What happened at the church when Tenorio went to have the mass for the dead and a church burial for his daughter?

The priest refused to allow those things to happen

What was the effect of the priest's stand on Tenorio and the townspeople?

Tenorio was not able to influence the people anymore

What did the Luna uncles request of Antonio's parents?

That they let Antonio spend next summer in El Puerto with them

Why did Antonio always look back when he walked away from the house?

He had a feeling that everything would be changed before he got home again

How did Antonio stop the others from teasing him about Ultima?

By punching Ernie, so others believed if he would take on Ernie, he could take on anyone

Briefly describe the Christmas play. What problems arose, and how were they dealt with?

The girls did not show up so the boys had to play their parts. Abel wet his pants, Florence hit the lightbulb and broke it, and Horse played the Virgin Mary. Bones did not come down and Antonio was Joseph

Whom did Antonio see as he was walking home from school after the play, and what were they doing?

Tenorio and Narciso in a bar and they were fighting

What was Narciso's final destination after the fight, and why?

He was going to the M�rez home to warn Ultima that Tenorio was on his way.

Where did Narciso go on his way to his final destination? Why did he go there, and what was the result of his visit?

He went to Rosie's house to tell Andrew to go home to warn Ultima. Andrew did not leave and said not to worry

Describe the fight at the juniper tree. Tell who witnessed it, and what the result of the fight was.

Antonio witnessed the fight and Tenorio killed Narciso but when Tenorio threatened Antonio, he had run out of bullets, Antonio witnessed Narciso's last confession

What happened after Antonio reached his home?

When Antonio reached home, he was feverish and fell asleep into a dream in which he saw an unforgiving God, the blood of Lupito and Narciso mix, a mob searching for Ultima's blood, and his brothers turning into the Trementina sisters who kill him

What illness did Antonio get after he saw the murder?


What did Mar�a tell Antonio would happen when he made his first holy communion?

That he will speak with God and God will answer and that he will have knowledge of God

What event broke the monotony of the storm?

Leon and Eugene arrived

What was Gabriel's response to his sons' visit, and why?

Mad and frustrated, because he knew that they would be leaving eventually and he reminisced about old times

What did Andrew do when Le�n and Eugene left?

He goes with them

What did Antonio think about much of the time?

The conflict of good vs. evil and why God acts how he does

What did Antonio think would help him understand his dreams and questions?

He thought he would understand after he made his communion

Whom did Antonio meet on the way home from school, and what happened?

Tenorio, and he threatened Ultima

The people thought a special event was causing the dust storms and harsh winter. What was the event?

They blamed it on the atomic bomb that had been exploded to the south of them

What was the topic of the discussion between Florence and Antonio in Chapter 17?

If God is fair or not and if God is real or not

Who haunted Antonio's nightmares, and why?

Florence, because he imagined him suffering in the afterlife for not accepting God

What did Samuel think would make things easier for Florence?

If he believed in the Golden Carp

Describe the events that happened when Antonio was on his way to church for his first confession.

The other boys forced him to hear their confessions as he "acted" as their priest and he was beaten up when he let Florence go without punishment. Horse made a hole through the wall in the girl's bathroom and Bones had seen people "having babies

Florence said he had not sinned, but had been sinned against. Who had sinned against him, and how?

By God because he took his mother and father away from him when he needed them the most and made his sisters workers at Rosie's house

What did Antonio expect to happen after he made his first communion, and what really did happen?

Antonio expected to hear God telling him the answers to all of his questions after he made his first communion but in reality, he did not gain this understanding

What did Antonio do every weekend after Easter, and what was the result?

Went to confession every Saturday and took communion every Sunday but the understanding was still not there

Describe the curse on the family near Agua Negra.

Dishes and utensils were crashing and falling. Stones were falling from the sky.

What was the cause of the curse, according to Ultima?

The spirits of three native men who had not been buried properly years ago had been tortured and controlled by the brujas to perform misdeeds

How did Ultima remove the curse?

She had Gabriel and T�llez build a Comanche funeral platform. She placed three bundles on it and had the men set it all on fire. When all had burned, she said the curse was lifted

What was Antonio's dream about the night they returned from Agua Negra?

He took the livers of his brothers and threw them into the River of the Carp because they wanted rest from their Marez blood. His brothers rested after that

What did Cico tell Antonio about God/gods?

He said there were many gods-of beauty, of magic, of garden and backyards

What did Cico say Antonio's choice was?

To choose between the god of the church and the beauty of the here and now

What happened when the boys went to tell Florence about the golden carp?

They found out that he had dived into the water and had not come up

What did Antonio dream about that night?

He dreamed about Narciso, Lupito, and Florence. He saw a priest desecrating an altar with pigeons' blood. He saw Tenorio killing Ultima's night-spirit. He asked why he had witnessed so much violence and all the "Gods" that he believed in had died

What did Ultima and Antonio's parents decide he should do for the summer?

They agreed that he should spend the summer with the Lunas on their farm

When Antonio and his father were talking on the way to El Puerto, Gabriel made an unusual statement. What was it?

That it might be time to give up the old differences between the M�rez and Luna ways

What did Gabriel say understanding was?

He said it was having sympathy for people

What trouble occurred in the town later in the summer?

Tenorio's daughter died

What did the uncles plan to do?

Pedro said he would take Antonio and drive to Guadalupe to warn Ultima

What happened to Antonio on his way back to his Grandfather's house, and what was the result?

Tenorio tried to run him down and kill him, but he dived into a ditch to save himself and then ran 10 miles back to Guadalupe to warn Ultima

What did Antonio realize about Ultima's owl?

He realized that it was Ultima's spirit

What happened just as Antonio reached his home?

Tenorio shot and killed the owl

What did Ultima ask Antonio to do for her?

To gather her medicines and herbs and to take them along the river and burn everything and to bury the owl at a forked juniper tree

What did Antonio think about the upcoming mass of the dead and burial for Ultima

He thought they were just the ceremony that was required by custom