Color Imagery In Rudolfo Anaya’s Novel Bless Me Ultima

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Rudolfo Anaya’s novel, Bless Me Ultima, shares Antonio’s journey and dreams using Color imagery, and its impact on the theme. Throughout the novel, Antonio faces many color imagery including gold, red, and black which are mostly used to describe some objects in important events. These colors helps gives us a better understanding of the object.

The color gold was a positive color expressing wisdom, power, royalty, and honor. For example, “… because he [ the golden carp] was the god they made him very big and colored him the color of gold.” , which made him stand out from the rest. the author use gold Express power and higher praise. there was only one golden carp. it helped distinguish the god from the rest of the normal carp. the golden carp was portrayed as a sign of wisdom. To go along with the golden carp, God gets frustrated at Antonio, “ who has worshipped golden Idols before [me]”, Antonio must make a decision on who is his God. since the golden carp was also a god, this makes Antonio question his beliefs. the golden carp is more forgiving unlike the Christian God. but soon later Antonio learns that there are more than one God, but makes his decision. as a result, gold has an impact on the theme since it was portrayed as having a good meaning and being very powerful.

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The color red had a neutral meaning but in this case was negative since it involved much violence.For example, while Lucas heads into the forests he witnesses, “the dance of the witches” (Anaya 86), this involved witches to be dancing around a fire chanting spell. This was the source of their evil rituals. Red symbolizes danger and violence. The fire gave them energy. Another example is, “ they [the townsfolk] were bathed in blood… the sun turned blood red” ( Anaya 175). This meant that the people had lost their minds. There was so much killing and murders all coming back. The red of the blood represented disorder and confusion. Red made an impact on the theme since it was the negative side to life. Bad things that would’ve happened turned red.

The color black in Bless Me Ultima has very dark meaning. This is one of the negative color imagery. For example, Lucas saw 3 brujas conducting a, “ Black Mass in Honor of the devil, and the devil appeared and danced with them.”(Anaya 87). Blacke was true evil. Black also symbolizes death which occurs throughout the novel. Another example is when, “… she [Ultima] took from her black bag a large lump of fresh black clay…”( Anaya 101). The clay which represented the brujas was black and was a meaning of death and evil. She used the clay to remove Lucas’s curse. Instead she put a curse on the brujas. Which got weak one by one.

In conclusion, many colors help us express different meanings. Whether it has a good or bad meaning we still use them. It gives us a better understanding of what’s going on.  


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