Seis 6 That fall, Antonio begins school.
In the following contribution Graham Wilson analyses this literary work and makes practical suggestions for the advanced foreign language classroom. The plot develops chronologically, and thus there are no complicated literary flashbacks. English lends itself to identification by the pupils.
The concept of multiculturalism as recommended in the Richtlinien in NRW for year 12 also makes the novel suitable. So far this ethnic group has been sadly neglected by schools in Germany.
Brief Synopsis of the Novel and its Themes The novel is set in the time span summer to summer and follows two years in the life of Antonio Mrez and his family. At the beginning of the novel, Antonio is almost seven years old and lives with his family in a small New Mexico town.
The family is fairly happy, although three of the brothers are away at war, and the mother Mara and the father Gabriel are very different and have almost contradictory philosophies of life. Mara is a devout Catholic, grew up in a farming family, and wants Antonio to go to school and become a priest; Gabriel comes from a family of cowboys vaqueros and wants his son to continue in that tradition and live his life on the open plains of the llanos.
An elderly folk healer curandera by the name of Ultima comes to live with them as the Mrez family feel a great respect for her healing powers, and she and Antonio form an immediate and strong bond. Antonio encounters much violence in his immediate surroundings.
The first incident is when Antonio witnesses the death of Lupito, a soldier who has recently returned from the war, when he is shot after he killed the sheriff of the community.
This first instance and all the others make Antonio think hard about sin and death, and he begins to question how God can allow such things. That autumn two things happen which are important for family life.
The first is that Antonio begins school. The first day at school is very saddening for Antonio as he is forced to speak English, a language which is foreign to him, which makes him an outcast along with the other children of Mexican American descent.
Nevertheless, he soon shows himself to be a good pupil who learns fast; so much so, in fact, that he is later allowed to skip a year. The second event is the return of the brothers from the war. Although this should be a happy event, and does indeed give the parents joy, the brothers are visibly restless and traumatised by the war, and want to move away to the city to build lives of their own.
Before long, they all leave home after several conflicts within the family. Again, this is a problem which Antonio desperately tries to comprehend, but like so many moral questions, it is too much for a seven-year-old boy to understand.
He is greatly impressed by this story, especially after the two of them see the carp, but he does not know how to reconcile this belief with the Catholic faith as he learns it in his pre-Communion classes.
His beliefs are further challenged when his uncle Lucas is cursed by the Trementino sisters. When Antonio finally takes the Communion, he expects a divine answer to all his questions and is utterly disappointed when the answer does not come. At the end of the novel, Antonio is followed by Tenorio, the father of the Trementino sisters, who have one by one died mysteriously.
This is at least the second murder Tenorio has committed — earlier in the novel he murdered Narciso for preventing him from murdering Ultima. When the owl dies, though, Ultima is doomed to die, too, because the owl is her "spiritual familiar" i.
Antonio sits by her bedside as she is dying and asks her to bless him, which she does so in the name of all that is good, strong and beautiful. Themes in this semi-autobiographical novel are relevant for German pupils in the Oberstufe: The novel has been criticised for the fact that many regard the spiritual development of this mere six- to nine-year-old boy as unrealistic.
One must not forget, though, that the first-person narrator is the adult Antonio, who no doubt remembers the events of his childhood in a different light. Didactic Assumptions The discussion as to whether pre-reading, where the pupils are to be given two or three weeks in which they should pre-read the novel in its entirety, versus successive reading, i.
Although some might argue that a successive reading lends itself to the linear structure, pre-reading is preferable by far: Furthermore, pre-reading offers a variety of techniques for helping the pupils to come to terms with the reading process e.
A thematic treatment of the novel, as suggested here, therefore presupposes that the pupils have been able to form their own opinions.
Thus pre-reading is advocated here. As the authors argue, the use of a reading log can enhance the receptive process, make the pupils more aware, and serve as a memory prompt later for productive activities.
This also leaves scope for the pupil to organise the reading log in any way they desire.Port Manteaux churns out silly new words when you feed it an idea or two. Enter a word (or two) above and you'll get back a bunch of portmanteaux created by jamming together words that are conceptually related to your inputs..
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The Spanish-speaking American citizens are the strongest minority in the USA today. Rudolfo Anaya’s novel Bless Me, Ultima is one of the earliest and finest examples of their literature.
In the following contribution Graham Wilson analyses this literary work and makes practical suggestions for the advanced foreign language classroom. Explanation of the famous quotes in Bless Me, Ultima, including all important speeches, comments, quotations, and monologues.