A 5 page discussion of the influence wielded by Erdrich’s Fleur and Anaya’s Ultima on the rest of their culture. The question is addressed as to whether these women’s power sustains the culture or contributes to its demise. No additional sources are listed.
Rudolf Anayas "Bless Me Ultima" and Louise Erdrichs "Tracks" are both stories of women with extraordinary power. The primary characters, Erdrichs Fleur and Anayas Ultima
exert many influences on the rest of the characters in the novels. Their spirituality is critical, in fact, in the culture of their people as a whole. The
question as to whether these womens power sustains the culture or contributes to its demise is a legitimate one. Set in 1940s New
Mexico Anayas "Ultima" is a sociopsychological portrayal of a people and a place, a people who are struggling to maintain some semblance of their traditions as they are confronted with
many diverse life challenges. Ultima is a Curandera, a woman of great medicine, who befriends a young Chicano and helps him discover the great importance of his peoples ancient
past. With Ultimas help Antonio is able to mature into a strong young man. She provides much-valued direction but always emphasizes the fact that:
"as you grow into manhood you must develop your own truths" (Anaya 112).
Ultimas direction is indeed much needed by this young boy. He is confronted with many life
choices, some of which come replete with a loss of innocence. With Ultimas help Antonio is able to come to grips with the loss of his childhood, to recognize:
"The innocence which our isolation sheltered could not last forever" (Anaya 14)