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 Paz's opinion about the physical features distinguishing Mexicans from North Americans?
(a) People do not understand their significance.
(b) They are more important than commonly believed.
(c) People are too distracted by them.
(d) They are not as important as commonly believed.

2. 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 sees the pachuco as an invader.
(c) He does not know how to relate to the pachuco.
(d) He sees the pachuco as a mythical figure, and thus dangerous.

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

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

5. What is Paz's opinion about Western respect for life?
(a) It illustrates man's limitations.
(b) It is truthful and realistic.
(c) It is either hypocritical or incomplete.
(d) It is not convincing.

Short Answer Questions

1. In Paz's estimation, what vital word has the Mexican forgotten?

2. What is the advantage of the North American view of women in relation to the Spanish view?

3. How is the myth of the "long-suffering Mexican woman" created?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

8. Why does the Mexican love Form? Other than in personal relationships, how does that idea express itself?

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

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

(see the answer keys)

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