Sample Essay

Antonio, according to Caminero-santangelo, is caught in a personal conflict, which is everything but an ethic one as he has to choose between a vaquero or a farmer or a priest. If the conflict would be an ethnic one it could have emphasized on the “Spanishversus indigenous, Mexican/Chicano versus Anglo” in order to provide an adequate and true background for the historic Chicano Movement (Caminero-Santangelo, 116).

Aminero-Santangelo argues her point with such a systemacity that she provides evidence from the other critics in order to state that the novel, Bless Me, Ultima, is anything but an ethnical novel. Caminero-Santangelo presents Genaro M. Padilla’s argument as he criticized the novel as it “seemed non-referential” despite it being set in “a definable historical moment in a New Mexican village” and no considerable connection is found between the novel and its “social context” (Caminero-Santangelo, 116). Bless Me, Ultima is also compared with Jose Antonio Villarreal’s Pocho that emphasized the conflicts as a consequence of “assimilation and integration” along with “cultural preservation” while Anaya’s novel lacks the demonstration of the struggles on the part of Antonio (Caminero-Santangelo, 116).

There are, however, some instances that could have expressed the difficulties that Antonio had to face owing to his Mexican identity but these are not adequate, according to Caminero-Santangelo, to support the novel’s status of an ethnical one. Antonio gets education in English while the “old people did not accept the new language” (Anaya, 180). Moreover, at one point, Antonio has to confront embarresment when he is mocked by his fellows when he keeps tortillas in lunch (Anaya, 58). But, these tiny instances do not state that Antonio’s struggles are originated in his search for a Mexican identity as Antonio will have to incorporate and change his cultural practices without abandoning any of them.

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