The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada Essay Questions

Essay Questions

  1. 1

    What does Belmont's impotence symbolize?

    Belmont is seen unable to perform sexually with Rachel. The symbolism with this is that not only is he incapable of performing in this manner he is in the same way impotent as a law man. He chooses to do nothing about Melquiades' disappearance and the facts that show he was murdered and it was covered up. He is impotent to caring for the people of his town as he is a bigot and a racist.

  2. 2

    What is the meaning of Melquiades' burial in the town?

    Melquiades is buried with no one there to witness it. Pete wasn't even made aware that they were burying him. The meaning is that Belmont cares nothing for an illegal immigrant. As sheriff of the town he dehumanizes Melquiades by not acknowledging his death as significant. The only one who takes it with great seriousness is Pete who spent time with Melquiades and was his friend and loved him.

  3. 3

    What is the irony in Pete taking Melquiades' body home to be buried?

    Pete returns Melquiades' body to the place he asked him to bury him. Ironically, his wife denies knowing him. He has been go so long that she has taken up with another man. Melquiades gave up his family to make a better life for them and subsequently they gave up on him. He did not have an identity in life while in Texas and does not have an identity to his family in death.

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