Bless Me, Ultima: Novel Summary: Chapter 8

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By the following spring, all the sons have grown restless. They spend their time aimlessly, sleeping during the day and going into the town at night. Leon has bad dreams about the war. They accumulate gambling debts and one day decide they have to leave town. Gene takes the lead and Leon, even though he is older, follows along. Andrew is more independent. They discuss possibilities: maybe they could move to Las Vegas, or Sante Fe, or even Denver. Andrew tests them out regarding their father's dream of moving to California  and their mother's desire to live along the river valley, where her family is.  Gene says that they have to live their own dreams, not those of their parents. Besides, their parents will still have Tony (he is often called by this abbreviation now). They tease Tony about being their mother's priest, and when he says he will bless them, they playfully spank him.

Analysis

The conflict between generations is now apparent. When the brothers return, their parents think that all will be the same as it was before, but this cannot be. The young want to live their own lives. The war has changed them. This episode is also a sign of the social changes that began slowly after World War II:  a loosening of the close-knit Mexican-American communities in New Mexico and other places in the southwest as new employment opportunities opened up in the large cities.



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