Some journeys are shorter than others and some never end. Some people reach their destinations; others never come close. Journeys are filled with trials and difficulties that sometimes bring out the best in people, or sometimes they can show off the worst. In Bless Me, Ultima, Antonio goes through a life changing journey. Facing trials, he risks himself to reach his goal. He descends into darkness. He accomplishes heroic feats, and he learns forgiveness on his journey. But overcoming the trials and challenges is part of Antonio's journey.
A descent into darkness is an event that is both frightening and unsafe. Antonio goes through this experience when he sees Lupito get shot. He does not understand why people must die. I once saw a man get run over by a car at night. The man had been playing chance, running across traffic without getting hit. But once he misjudged the car's speed when he ran to the middle of the road and he was run over. He died on the spot. This was the first time I saw death, and I did not understand it, but I was frightened and I felt unsafe for a while after the experience.
Sometimes people have to achieve heroic feats on their journeys. Antonio works very hard by running ten miles to save Ultima. He is attacked by Tenorio but still he runs to save Ultima. Antonio describes his feat when he says, "I ran miles before I could run no more and then fell to the ground. My heart was pounding, my lungs burned, and in my side there was a continuous stabbing pain" (Pg. 243, Bless Me, Ultima). Antonio tried to save Ultima by warning her, but he was too late. Even so, his heroism and his effort are part of Antonio's journey. Another example of an heroic feat, but not a physical one, occurs in the novel Lord of the Flies. Ralph stood up to Jack demanding that Jack give Piggy's glasses back in front of all the kids. Even though Ralph's heroism failed to convince Jack, and even though Antonio's run failed to warn Ultima, both did what was right an moral even though the odds were against success.