Antonio Juan Márez 

Antonio is the main protagonist and plays a role of narrator of the story. Antonio is a six-year boy who lives in New Mexico with his family. His father is a cowboy who appreciates freedom and traveling. Antonio's mother was brought up in the Catholic family of farmers that’s why she has completely different values in life. Because of the differences in their outlook, the parents' vision of Antonio’s future doesn’t coincide at all. His brothers are engaged in the Second World War. The family decides to take in an old-aged woman named Ultima. She is good at healing and is aware of curing properties of different herbs. Spending a lot of time with Antonio, she transfers her knowledge to him. Their relationships are very close and trustful. Despite the fact that Antonio is only 6, he is open to new knowledge and sees the world in his own way. The day before he goes to school the first time in his life, he became a witness of the cruel killing of a soldier who came back from World War II and went crazy. However, at this point boy's problems don’t end. Antonio faces with such difficulty at school as training which is conducted in English. Although boy doesn’t know this language at the beginning of the year, he gets one of the highest marks. But the surrounding world is not such an easy task for him as English to cope with. He witnesses a couple of deaths which makes him think about sins, punishments, and aspects of religions of different kinds. Antonio also sees the death of Ultima who was killed by a man who envies her healing talent. Being driven by his vision and understanding of the world, cultural roots, and different beliefs, Antonio tries to set up his identity.

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Antonio Juan Márez  in the Essays