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Question: On the final page of the book, Antonio says that the burial of Ultima’s body in Las Pasturas is only a ceremony prescribed by custom and that “Ultima was really buried here. Tonight.” What does he mean? Cite the text in your response.
In the quote you provided from the novel "Bless Me, Ultima" by Rudolfo Anaya, Antonio is reflecting on the true significance of Ultima's burial. When he says, "Ultima was really buried here. Tonight," he means that the physical burial in Las Pasturas is merely a formality as her essence, spirit, and impact on his life have already been deeply ingrained within him and the community that night. This statement shows that Antonio believes Ultima's legacy reaches far beyond her physical existence. Her teachings, wisdom, and guidance have touched the lives of Antonio and others in the community, forever shaping them. The true burial of Ultima occurs in the hearts and minds of those who knew and learned from her, and this is what Antonio is referring to when he says she was "really buried here." Antonio's recognition of Ultima's lasting impact on him highlights the novel's theme of the transformative power of knowledge and the importance of embracing one's cultural heritage. By accepting and cherishing the wisdom and lessons that Ultima shared, Antonio ultimately honors her memory in a way that is profoundly meaningful and personal, transcending the traditional customs associated with the burial of a loved one.
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