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. As the closure to Chapter Two, the reader sees what shadow spreading out over Mexico?
(a) The shadow of truth.
(b) The shadow of Catholicism.
(c) The shadow of Nobody.
(d) The shadow of dissimulation.

2. What model do Mexicans prefer that the woman follow?
(a) The model of The Virgin Mary - chaste and kind.
(b) A general model of decency, secrecy, and long-suffering.
(c) A model of strength, praise, and fortitude.
(d) The model of ancient Mexican goddesses.

3. Why did the sense of Mexicanism "float" in the air of Los Angeles?
(a) It was an ethereal sense of nationality.
(b) No one truly knew that it meant to be Mexican.
(c) It did not mix with the North American efficiency or precision.
(d) People struggled to retain Mexican identity in a foreign land.

4. How are the evil words a sign and seal?
(a) They seal the intention of the speaker.
(b) They project the result that they will bring.
(c) They pull men out of their solitude.
(d) They identify fellow Mexicans among strangers.

5. What is the difference between the Mexican killer and the modern one?
(a) The Mexican kills a man, not an object.
(b) Only the Mexican killer expresses true hatred.
(c) The Mexican kills as an expression of love.
(d) The Mexican obliterates an object, not a man.

Short Answer Questions

1. When does the pachuco become his true self?

2. What masculine trait enters into the idea of feminine modesty?

3. Why is death a part of the fiesta (Chapter Three)?

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

5. In Latin America, what was the importance of Jose Gorostiza's poem, Muerte sin Fin?

Short Essay Questions

1. What group of people did the author have in mind as he wrote the book? How and why did those people become important to him?

2. What is the character of the Mexican's solitude? How does it differ from the solitude of the North American?

3. How important are fiestas in Mexican culture? What relationship exists between the fiesta and the individual?

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

5. 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?

6. What is Paz's understanding of woman? How does it fit the Mexican mindset?

7. How did the Aztecs view sin? How does that idea explain the Conquest? What enormous change did Catholicism introduce?

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

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

10. What is the Mexican's ideal of manliness? How does it affect his interactions with other people?

(see the answer keys)

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