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Anaya’s books attempt to answer some of life’s most perplexing questions: how we can understand the nature of God and how we can we find faith in a chaotic world. They also attempt to place these questions in perspective unique to the Chicano culture. Anaya deals with themes particularly similar to those in Bless Me, Ultima in the two novels that directly followed, Heart of Aztlan and Tortuga. Both of these books are coming of age novels centered around the Chicano experience in America, and both feature a young boy who faces trauma and turmoil but gains spiritual insight as he grows emotionally and learns about life and death. Heart of Aztlan deals with the problems of a Chicano worker living in America and Tortuga with the emotional pain of a young boy suffering from paralysis. In both of these novels Anaya incorporates mythic elements to help define the Chicano experience and shed light on the problem of finding faith in a confusing world.

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