At the beginning of the Book, The author associates Antonio's concern about the changes in his life to his culture. I think Ultima's entry into Antonio's life will start a stressful time Antonio. The author shows Antonio's feelings about change by depicting his nervousness about beginning school, separating from his mother, and his future. Because the difference in parents' heritage, Antonio is caught between two different cultures. The vaquero lifestyle (showed by his father) expresses the values of independence, freedom, and mobility, all of which are apparent in his love of the llano. The Luna family lifestyle (expressed by Antonio's mother) shows stability, productivity, and family, which are apparent in the Luna's' desire to build and live in towns. Antonio's life seems to hang between these two different lifestyles, and Antonio's dream about his birth shows the unease this pressure causes him. Ultima's statement that she is the one who knows Antonio's destiny foreshadows Ultima's role as Antonio's guide in the process of merging his heritages and building a future out of both. Although Antonio is only six years old he possesses a questioning mind, a great deal of moral ethics, and an appreciation for the seriousness of life. Some of his traits are typical of a child his age, for example his concern about leaving his mother to start school. However, in other ways, Antonio is unlike children his age. He is much more serious than other children, particularly compared to his rowdy group of friends. He is also very confused about his place in the world, since he is trapped between two competing cultural identities. His father is a vaquero who wants Antonio to ride the llano and appreciate the open prairie, while his mother is a daughter of farmers who wants Antonio to become a priest. Antonio is also troubled about his own uncertain destiny.
The whole family is glad that Ultima is staying with them.