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. What connotation does the verb, chingar, carry?
(a) Violation.
(b) Failure.
(c) Disaster.
(d) Mythical power.

2. Why are a woman's instincts those of a species rather than her own?
(a) She is the incarnation of the life force, which itself is impersonal.
(b) As an inferior person, she does not have individual instincts.
(c) She must have instincts of the species in order to perpetuate the race.
(d) Her individual instincts are obliterated because of her proximity to the Divine.

3. To which of the following does Paz reduce the Mexican character? (Chapter Four, page 73).
(a) The Mexican is stronger when he is alone.
(b) The Mexican is himself only in the crowd of a fiesta or ceremony.
(c) The Mexican does not dare or want to be himself.
(d) The Mexican only lives when he faces death.

4. What is Paz's opinion about the physical features distinguishing Mexicans from North Americans?
(a) People are too distracted by them.
(b) They are more important than commonly believed.
(c) They are not as important as commonly believed.
(d) People do not understand their significance.

5. What masculine trait enters into the idea of feminine modesty?
(a) Protection.
(b) Strength.
(c) Vanity.
(d) Love.

Short Answer Questions

1. Why did Catholicism drastically change the Aztec view of life?

2. During the fiesta of Grito, why do the people shout for one hour, in Paz's interpretation?

3. To follow Paz's previous argument, what is the result when one Mexican confides in another?

4. Above all other definitions, who is the Chingada?

5. When is the fiesta of Grito celebrated?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is the origin of the pachuco? How does that characterization prepare the reader for the rest of the book?

2. In the author's parable, who is Nobody? Is it possible for Nobody to break the progression of his existence? Why or why not?

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. Who is the Chingada? What relation does she hold to every Mexican, whether male or female?

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

6. What is dissimulation? How does it compare to lying? How does it affect the Mexican's idea of himself?

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

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

9. What were Paz's impressions of the United States? How does that contrast with the literature being written? In your mind, what accounts for the discrepancy?

10. What is the modern view of death? How is it dramatically different from the Aztec view?

(see the answer keys)

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