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. To follow Paz's previous argument, what is the result when one Mexican confides in another?
(a) Dishonor.
(b) Alienation.
(c) Sadness.
(d) Affection.

2. In Paz's opinion, when is a person most likely to see himself as precious and unique?
(a) In childhood.
(b) At the end of his life.
(c) During adolescence.
(d) When he is in love.

3. What is the novelty of the pachuco clothing?
(a) Its disregard for current fashion.
(b) Its colors.
(c) Its exaggeration.
(d) Its impracticality.

4. Why did Catholicism drastically change the Aztec view of life?
(a) It placed man's salvation outside himself.
(b) It placed a merciful God in charge.
(c) It saw life linearly rather than cyclically.
(d) It emphasized man's humanity and personhood.

5. 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) His neighbor is a pathetic version of himself.
(b) The glance could spark rage.
(c) His neighbor reveals the disillusioned character of Mexico.
(d) The glance could reveal his isolation.

Short Answer Questions

1. How does a man become "like the angels" (Chapter Three, page 61)?

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

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

4. According to Paz, what is death in modern thought?

5. Why are people sad if a person dies badly (Chapter Three)?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

7. What happens during the fiesta? What is the emotional result?

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

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

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

(see the answer keys)

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