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. What analogy does Paz use to explain Mexico's history?
(a) A child without a future.
(b) A man searching for his parents.
(c) A man searching for his wife.
(d) A child without a family.

2. Why are a woman's instincts those of a species rather than her own?
(a) She must have instincts of the species in order to perpetuate the race.
(b) As an inferior person, she does not have individual instincts.
(c) She is the incarnation of the life force, which itself is impersonal.
(d) Her individual instincts are obliterated because of her proximity to the Divine.

3. How does the pachuco present himself to the people around him?
(a) As a lost man.
(b) As one of the group.
(c) As a man searching for a home.
(d) As a solitary, challenging figure.

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

5. According to Paz's argument, what is the source of the North American's irritation with the pachuco?
(a) He sees the pachuco as a threat to North American society.
(b) He does not know how to relate to the pachuco.
(c) He sees the pachuco as an invader.
(d) He sees the pachuco as a mythical figure, and thus dangerous.

Short Answer Questions

1. In Paz's opinion, when is a person most likely to see himself as precious and unique?

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

3. What is the most valued trait in both the military and political realms?

4. What is the Mexican concept of work?

5. When Aztec victims were sacrificed, why did their deaths lack personal meaning?

Short Essay Questions

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

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 Paz's understanding of woman? How does it fit the Mexican mindset?

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

5. What is left of the colonial world? Are those remnants the best or the worst parts that could be left behind?

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

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

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

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

(see the answer keys)

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