Bless Me, Ultima Final Essay



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Bless Me, Ultima Final Essay
Choose one of the topics and write a five-paragraph essay—introduction, three body paragraphs, conclusion. Use quotations from the novel to support your ideas. Obviously, you will also use specific, concrete examples as “proofs”. Write coherent, well-developed paragraphs that communicate your ideas thoroughly, but without padding.
Topic Choices


  1. What is significant about the title?

  • You could identify Ultima’s three blessings and show how they are significant to the novel.

  • You could explore other blessings in the novel and show their significance.

  • To show their importance, think of them in terms of themes.




  1. How does the role of nature enhance the themes in the novel?

  • You could identify three aspects of nature and show how each develops one or more themes

  • You could identify three themes and show how nature helps to develop each one

  • You should NOT just describe the nature in the novel—you must it connect it to a theme or themes.




  1. Tony originally thought of his brothers as “giants.” Who are the real giants in this book?

  • Consider what a “giant” might be: someone of great moral courage? someone Tony comes to respect? someone who influences Tony’s life or thinking?

  • You must prove that the three characters are “giants” based on your definition.




  1. Andrew, Narciso and Tony’s father, Gabriel, all serve as male mentors for Tony. How does each man influence Tony or teach him?

  • You must BOTH show what each “male mentor” teaches Tony AND prove that Tony is influenced by the teaching or example.




  1. How do dreams reveal Tony’s inner tension or fears?

  • You must examine three of Tony’s dreams and show what events, worries, or concerns in his waking life evoke each dream.

    • You will use quotes from the dream and connect them to quotes from Tony’s waking life

Writing an expository, text-based essay takes time. You must analyze an idea, evaluate evidence, and organize your argument.



To analyze—

  • read between the lines (go beneath surface meaning)

  • speculate about meaning

  • don’t just repeat what you’ve heard in class—use the ideas we’ve discussed to make new connections, help you launch into new ideas.

  • ask “why” or “how” questions about your topic and dig for the answers. Answers to such questions are usually analytical because you must draw conclusions to answer them.

  • compare, contrast, connect elements (ie: character, symbolism, theme)

Many of the questions directly reference “themes”. What are the themes in Bless Me, Ultima?

Your first step is to choose your topic and brainstorm. When first brainstorming, do not go straight to the text. Instead, look inside yourself for what you already know, for your own original, unique ideas. Give the brainstorming adequate time. You could:

After your brainstorming




Whenever you get stuck in the process, go back to brainstorming for fresh ideas.


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