How did Ultima and others in Bless Me, Ultima affect Tony's development as a "man of learning"?

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brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Antonio has a number of people interested in his educational future in Rudolfo Anaya's Bless Me, Ultima.  There are his teachers in school, who are trying their best to keep him on the Catholic straight and narrow.  There's his mother, of the Luna family, who has already decided that Tony will become a priest, perhaps making up for the errant ways of his older brothers.  But Ultima has the greatest influence on his life, as the education she is interested in for Tony doesn't involve a traditional classroom.

Tony becomes Ultima's unofficial apprentice as a curandera's assistant.  A curandera is a traditional medicine woman, using the hrbs and remedies of the Earth, of ancient Native healing practices.  In all of these ways, Tony becomes a multi-dimensional man of learning, and through those experiences, comes of age in the story.

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Bless Me, Ultima

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