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. Above all other definitions, who is the Chingada?
(a) The representation of violated womanhood.
(b) A mythical mother.
(c) The representation of virginity.
(d) A living mother.

2. According to Paz, what is the Mexican's relationship with his fellow man?
(a) He changes him to Nobody.
(b) He respects him only if they are the same social class.
(c) He ignores him.
(d) He respects him only if he is revered.

3. Why does the worker lack mystery?
(a) He loses his communion with the Divine.
(b) He is bound to time and space.
(c) He is confined to a small space in the world.
(d) He is identical to his fellow man.

4. As Paz begins Chapter Two, he says that the Mexican is always afraid to glance at his neighbor. What reason does he give for that?
(a) The glance could spark rage.
(b) His neighbor is a pathetic version of himself.
(c) The glance could reveal his isolation.
(d) His neighbor reveals the disillusioned character of Mexico.

5. What is Paz's opinion about Western respect for life?
(a) It illustrates man's limitations.
(b) It is either hypocritical or incomplete.
(c) It is not convincing.
(d) It is truthful and realistic.

Short Answer Questions

1. How does the pachuco present himself to the people around him?

2. What does the pachuco represent in Paz's writing?

3. How does solitude assume a purifying, almost purgative, quality for the Mexican?

4. What did Paz find in the actions and faces of North Americans?

5. Why do Mexicans tell lies (Chapter Two)?

Short Essay Questions

1. Who is the Virgin of Guadalupe? How is she an important part of Mexican identity?

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

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

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

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

6. 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?

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

8. 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?

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

10. "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?

(see the answer keys)

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