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

2. In Paz's example of the village near Mitla, how is their yearly income spent?
(a) On weddings and christenings.
(b) On fiestas.
(c) On education.
(d) On funerals.

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

4. How does a man become "like the angels" (Chapter Three, page 61)?
(a) By running from death to an embracement of life.
(b) By valuing life to its final moment.
(c) By entrusting everything to God.
(d) By opening fully to death, as well as to life.

5. According to Paz, how does death end when a civilization denies it?
(a) Through the denial of life.
(b) By evading death.
(c) By living fully.
(d) It does not end.

Short Answer Questions

1. What is the difference between the Mexican killer and the modern one?

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

3. Through dissimulation, what does a Mexican attempt to do?

4. What model do Mexicans prefer that the woman follow?

5. What duality does the pachuco represent?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does unemployment on the farms affect the cities? How does it slow all of Mexico's development?

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

3. In Chapter Three, the following idea is presented: "There is nothing so joyous as a Mexican fiesta, but there is also nothing so sorrowful. Fiesta night is also a night of mourning" (Chapter 3, page 53). What does that mean?

4. What does the author mean when he writes, "Man is the only one who is alone"?

5. Women are never able to express their femininity outside the forms that men have created for them to express it. What view of womanhood does that idea present?

6. What role did Catholicism play in the lives of the conquering Spaniards? Was that role contradictory?

7. How did Catholicism reduce the Indian converts into passive believers? How was that a significant blow?

8. What role did religion play in ancient South American cultures? Did Catholicism change that role?

9. How does Paz explain the Mexican woman's role in society? How does that strip her of her personality?

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

(see the answer keys)

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