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. According to Paz, why does the liar tell lies to himself?
(a) He is afraid of himself.
(b) He is afraid of finding truth in other people.
(c) He does not know the truth.
(d) He is afraid of the world.

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

3. What does the pachuco represent in Paz's writing?
(a) One extreme at which the Mexican can arrive.
(b) The typical Mexican living in North American culture.
(c) One step along the path that a Mexican can take.
(d) The modern-day religious saint.

4. What happens when the Mexican dissimulates?
(a) He nearly ceases to exist.
(b) He merges with the common people.
(c) He preserves his individuality intact.
(d) He becomes estranged from society.

5. What duality does the pachuco represent?
(a) A saint deeply involved in scandal.
(b) A fiend whose trademark is hearty laughter.
(c) A victim obsessed with revenge.
(d) A clown whose purpose is terror.

Short Answer Questions

1. Why is the fiesta, at its core, a revolution?

2. In Paz's understanding of genders, how do Mexican women become like men?

3. Why does the worker lack mystery?

4. Why are woman considered inferior people?

5. Why are a woman's instincts those of a species rather than her own?

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 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?

3. What is the power of Paz's idea that perhaps man can begin to dream with his eyes closed? (Chapter Nine, page 212).

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

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

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

7. What did Article 3 of the new Constitution mandate? What troubles did that Article cause?

8. What does Paz say about the national differences among Central and South American nations? How does that tie into their relationship with Spain?

9. Paz asserts that every revolution attempts to restore the order that an oppressor has twisted or disregarded altogether. How was that true in Mexico?

10. 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?

(see the answer keys)

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