The Labyrinth of Solitude: Life and Thought in Mexico Test | Mid-Book Test - Medium

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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. According to Paz, what does it mean when a person is alone?
(a) He can never relate to other people.
(b) He is inferior.
(c) He is superior.
(d) He is different.

2. How did Paz consider his philosophical questions?
(a) As an excuse for not facing reality.
(b) As a waste of time.
(c) As meaningful only if they addressed the question of Mexican identity.
(d) As the only means to find answers.

3. During the fiesta of Grito, why do the people shout for one hour, in Paz's interpretation?
(a) To express their rage.
(b) To express great joy.
(c) So the name of Grito cannot be heard.
(d) So they can be silent the rest of the year.

4. What analogy does Paz use to explain Mexico's history?
(a) A child without a future.
(b) A man searching for his parents.
(c) A child without a family.
(d) A man searching for his wife.

5. What do a pachuco's actions and lifestyle demonstrate?
(a) His will to remain different.
(b) His desire to return to Mexico.
(c) His dissatisfaction with North American culture.
(d) His anger at a culture that will not assimilate him.

Short Answer Questions

1. What is Paz's opinion about the physical features distinguishing Mexicans from North Americans?

2. Which of the following powers does the saying "I am your father" hold? (Chapter Four, page 80).

3. When Paz first arrived in the United States, what surprised him most about the people?

4. According to Paz, why does the liar tell lies to himself?

5. What is the French sociologists' interpretation of the fiesta?

Short Essay Questions

1. Who represents the conflict that Mexicans have not been able to solve? What effect does that conflict have on their culture?

2. What is the world of terrorism like? How is it different from the past world of conquest and war?

3. "The pachuco has lost his whole inheritance: Language, religion, customs, and beliefs. He is left with only a body and a soul with which to confront the elements" (Chapter One, pg 15). Is that a true statement?

4. According to Alarcon, why does the liar lie to himself? Given what you know of the Mexican mindset, does that make sense?

5. How is the modern murderer different from a murderer of the past? How has modernity contributed to that difference?

6. When does Paz say that a nation questions itself? Is it necessary?

7. What is the Mexican view of death? When does death become saddest?

8. How does North American culture view the pachuco? Does the pachuco accept or reject that culture's perception of him?

9. What mutual problem do both the Mexican and the North American face? What is the solution to that problem?

10. What is the greatest horror that a worker suffers? Do you think that is true?

(see the answer keys)

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