Journeying toward a new spirituality: Rudolfo Anaya's trilogy revisited
“Journeying Toward a New Spirituality: Rudolfo Anaya's Trilogy Revisited” attempts to articulate the connections among Anaya's first three novels—Bless Me, Ultima, Heart of Aztlan, and Tortuga—and to elucidate the spiritual values depicted by the author in the struggles for identity of his three protagonists.
The introduction provides a brief overview of critical commentary on Anaya's early works and a rhetorical justification for “revisiting” the trilogy.
Chapter One argues that Ultima's child protagonist, Antonio Marez, represents the “birth” phase of the life cycle as his initiation with multiple myth systems forms in him the foundation for spiritual maturity.
Chapter Two examines the spiritual journey of the middle-aged protagonist in Heart of Aztlan, Clemente Chavez. Because of Clemente's removal from traditional religion and his eventual immersion in the myths of his ancestors, Clemente's experience epitomizes the “death” phase which precipitates rebirth in the cycle of life.
Chapter Three analyzes the healing process of the teenaged, paralyzed protagonist in Tortuga, comparing his physical and spiritual “rebirth” with the process of emerging spirituality in Anaya's first two novels.
The conclusion of this study attempts to articulate Anaya's spiritual message through Tortuga's “song of love” and through the lessons contributed by each of the protagonists. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)