Why does Tony go to school in the snow in Bless Me, Ultima?
Tony goes to school in the snow because it is the day of the Nativity play.
When the family wakes up to discover that the snow has covered the goat path, Tony’s mother tells them not to go to school because, “what’s one day?” (ch 14, p. 148). Yet Tony wants to go, because it is right before Christmas and the children are performing a nativity play. Tony plays a shepherd. Even in a blizzard, he wants to go to school.
Tony’s mother decides it is ok for him to walk to school in the snow.
“It is good for him…If he is to be a priest, he should learn early about sacrifice--.” (ch 14, p. 148)
Since so many kids do not come, Tony ends up playing Joseph. The play is an embarrassment because too many people have the wrong parts, and the kids just play around. Tony walks home in the snow.
Tony wants to go to school, even though he stands out from the white children. English is his second language, and he does not eat or talk like them. He makes friends with the other Hispanic boys, and eventually tries to make something of himself so he can be a priest. School is important to him, and he takes his obligations seriously.