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Acquisition of knowledge either formerly or informally acts as an epitome for change in the society. In the novel, Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya, Antonio's innocence of the good world comes to a halt when he learns of the killing of the Town Sheriff. The knowledge accumulated by him informally from Ultima and the one he acquires formally from school makes him to have a different perception of the world. These perceptions guide him towards navigating away from his family's expectations and religious ambiguity, Rudolf Anaya 1972 Bless Me, Ultima 'an introduction'. The mother, Maria Marez was confident that Antonio would become a priest while his father thought he would follow the Marez family traditions. However his education changed many things and none of his parents had anything as a show of influence.
Formal education brings a new language which is adopted by institutions of learning. Antonio becomes an outcast when he joins school not as a native English speaker. He is forced to learn the language with brilliant speed to keep up with the pace of other student, bless me, Ultima, chapter six.
In third grade, Antonio's guest for change was becoming his biggest undoing. He spends most of his time wondering why God would allow some sins like murder to happen in the society. Why would he not punish murderers like Tenorio? His thoughts are the ones that led him to synchronize the Native American religion with traditional Roman Catholicism.
We have a transition of peaceful coexistence to traumas caused by war and many killings. The effect of war in this society is long lasting and very depressing. Antonio's three brother, Andrew, Eugene, and León Marez leave home to pursue independent lives after the war due to much depression and restlessness. Antonio undergoes a complete metamorphosis in the perception of the world and reality. This becomes a permanent change that makes Marez family to have different ideologies.
Rudolf Anaya brings out the role of formal, institutional and folk religion as societies moral givers. In formal institution, children are thought how to have a mutual coexistence in the society. Antonio's friends: Abel, Bones, Ernie, Horse, Lloyd, Red, and the Vitamin Kid who participate in frequent fights and trouble shooting are always punished by the school administration. Rudolf's bless me Ultima, Chapter 14. Father Byrnes teaches the children love one another to respect their parents and avoid committing sin as they would be punished by God. This is a way of imparting morals from an institutional religion. In an informal set up, narratives and other forms of art brought up in the rich Native Mexican cultural practices is used to impart morals to children in the society. Ultima as she walks with Antonio to pick herbs narrates to him many stories which act as a cognitive way of mapping him. (Bless Me Ultima, Chapter four)
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These institutions also act as centers for knowledge. In church Father Byrnes teaches the children and the congregation a bout God and his creation which explains about the origin of human beings (Bless Me Ultima, by Rudolf Anaya, chapter three) .At school, children acquire more knowledge a bout the environment they live in. In chapter twenty three, Antonio is going to learn o bout the earth and the universe. All this is knowledge acquisition process.
The conflict brought out in the setting of the New Mexican Landscape by Rudolf Anaya is almost equivalent to the modern world conflict. The slight deference that appears to be less common in the modern world is religious conflicts between traditional religion and modern religion as witnessed in New Mexican community. In modern world universal religions like Christianity and Muslim have occupied almost all of the world population. In few homes with strong belief in traditional religious practices, conflicts are rear due to freedom of association exercised in the whole world. The conflicts seen in New Mexican society as narrates Anaya are complete reflection of how our society is all about. The killings witnessed due to personal differences are still happing in the modern world. It has been reported on many countries political arena of politicians killing others due to personal differences.
Generation gap is a common phenomenon in May homes. Elderly people are trying to influence young ones on what they should do but with many failures. In Rudolf's, Bless me Ultima, Antonio's parents want to have total influence on their children. However nobody succeeds. Both Gabriel and Maria Marez could not succeed in having their wishes accomplished. This is also happening in the modern world. There is a big change of lifestyle that parents and their young ones have failed to solve conflicts arising from them. Sometimes parents have also failed to influence their children choose careers in their scope. Taste for music as a result of musical evolution, taste for recreational facilities and much other taste are being perceived by different generations differently from each other.
At the end Antonio ended up into hybridization. He took his father's advice and Ultimo's. He transformed and assimilated his cultural experiences without neglecting any of them. His father advices him that every man if part of his past. (p261)
The blessing according to Anaya Rudolf is Antonio's realization and formation of anew culture, the hybrid culture. This involves the combination of tradition and modern cultural practices. Conflicts raised in the society will be solved when hybridization takes effect. When Antonio joined school ethnicity was highly seen, but with the hybridization everyone will learn to coexist well with another person hence solving social problems like ethnicity. With hybridization we can all say; "Bless me Ultima"