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. When does the pachuco become his true self?
(a) When he is surrounded by fellow Mexicans.
(b) When he is alone.
(c) When his life explodes.
(d) When he is in Mexico.

2. What contributes to the power of the word, chingar, and all of its derivations?
(a) The fact that it is prohibited in public places.
(b) The fact that its derivations are many and complicated.
(c) The fact that people use the word in religious ceremonies.
(d) The fact that the word is related to words related to death.

3. Chapter Three begins with the great effect that fiestas and public celebrations have. What is this effect?
(a) They stop the flow of time.
(b) They increase man's sense of his mortality.
(c) They emphasize man's individuality.
(d) They bring people together with unusual dynamics.

4. As the closure to Chapter Two, the reader sees what shadow spreading out over Mexico?
(a) The shadow of dissimulation.
(b) The shadow of truth.
(c) The shadow of Catholicism.
(d) The shadow of Nobody.

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

Short Answer Questions

1. Why are people sad if a person dies badly (Chapter Three)?

2. In contrast to the North American, what is one of the most noticeable traits about the Mexican character?

3. What does the Mexican value in art, religion, and politics?

4. What mentality does Paz attribute to the Mexican?

5. From what does a fiesta free the Mexican, in Paz's understanding?

Short Essay Questions

1. "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?

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

3. 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?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(see the answer keys)

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