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

2. What is the French sociologists' interpretation of the fiesta?
(a) The people's disregard for death increases their sense of life.
(b) The people's misunderstanding of life increases their desire for death.
(c) The people's squandering of money appeases the gods.
(d) The people's disregard for obligations enhances their sense of time.

3. When is the fiesta of Grito celebrated?
(a) April 16 at 11:00 AM.
(b) October 31 at 3:00 PM.
(c) August 3 at 9:00 AM.
(d) September 15 at 11:00 PM.

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

5. How does the philosophy of progress treat death?
(a) It minimizes death.
(b) It treats death as one more step in life.
(c) It pretends to make death disappear.
(d) It disregards death entirely.

Short Answer Questions

1. What is Paz's opinion about the physical features distinguishing Mexicans from North Americans?

2. How do Mexicans avoid the dangers of romantic relationships, according to Paz?

3. Which of the following powers does the saying "I am your father" hold? (Chapter Four, page 80).

4. What analogy does Paz use to explain Mexico's history?

5. How did Paz consider his philosophical questions?

Short Essay Questions

1. How do Mexicans view their bodies? How does their view contribute to their wish for privacy?

2. 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?

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

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

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

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

7. What is dissimulation? How does it compare to lying? How does it affect the Mexican's idea of himself?

8. What is the greatest horror that a worker suffers? Do you think that is true?

9. 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?

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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