Bless Me, Ultima Final Essay
Choose one of the following topics and write a five-paragraph essay—introduction, three body paragraphs, conclusion. Use at least 3 quotations from the novel to support your ideas. Obviously, you will also use as many specific, concrete examples as possible as “proofs”. Make sure your quotes are relevant (ask what you are trying to prove). Write coherent, well-developed paragraphs that communicate your ideas thoroughly, but without padding.
Your introductory “hook” should be interesting and related to your topic. You may use a quotation if you wish, but be careful: the quote should not have to be explained, or you will immediately lose your audience. Also, regardless of what kind of hook you use, you must transition smoothly into the ideas you want to introduce.
The thesis statement is the last sentence in the introduction and points to the three points you will be exploring in your essay. You should have the seeds of your three topic sentences in the thesis.
The following thesis is in response to the following topic: What causes Tony so much confusion over the three choices he is faced with?
Tony’s three religious choices, the church, myth and magic, are each introduced to Tony by someone he respects and offers things that Tony values and needs, leading to his feelings of conflict and confusion
Tony’s first beliefs, those of the church, are taught to him by his mother, and offer Tony forgiveness, tradition and acceptance, but ultimately do not satisfy him .
The nature myth, brought to Tony by Samuel, appeals to Tony’s love of nature, as well as his need to see things for himself, but are also isolating.
Although Ultima’s magic is mysterious, Tony finally sees it as fair and virtuous, because Ultima, herself, is good, although her magic often confuses him.
Notice that the thesis statement (as well as the three paragraphs which proceed from the thesis) go beyond plot summary or mere recall. The ideas in the essay must be the result of thought and analysis. Begin by making preliminary notes about your topic, brainstorming. Then begin to analyze the ideas you have jotted down—make connections, compare or contrast, ask “why?”, draw conclusions (educated guesses). Think outside the box—anything is fine, as long as you can give adequate support from the text. For example, to come up with the thesis for the above topic, I thought about the three choices, what the choices were, how Tony discovered each choice, what attracted him to each, and why, and what problems he had with each—then analyzed and put it all together.
Use only relevant quotations ...