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 is the advantage of the North American view of women in relation to the Spanish view?
(a) It does not deify women.
(b) It does not objectify women.
(c) It recognizes women's place in the world.
(d) It credits women with a cosmic role.

2. Why is the fiesta, at its core, a revolution?
(a) It dissolves society.
(b) It allows man to be something different.
(c) It has no regard for religious mores.
(d) Man is finally free.

3. What type of book did Xavier Villaurrutia write?
(a) Life-related poetry.
(b) Religious exhortations about life.
(c) A scientific explanation of death.
(d) Death-related poetry.

4. Where does Paz state that the Mexican's indifference hides his life force?
(a) Behind a veil of rationalism.
(b) Within a jumble of emotions.
(c) Behind a death mask.
(d) In silence.

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

Short Answer Questions

1. What mentality does Paz attribute to the Mexican?

2. When Paz first arrived in the United States, what surprised him most about the people?

3. Paz discusses the result of persecution on the pachuco. What is that result?

4. When does the pachuco become his true self?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What is the character of the Mexican's solitude? How does it differ from the solitude of the North American?

3. 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?

4. 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?

5. What is the modern view of death? How is it dramatically different from the Aztec view?

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

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

8. How does Mexico's poverty relate to the fiesta? What French interpretation did it inspire?

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

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

(see the answer keys)

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