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. How do Mexicans perceive an opening-up of one's self?
(a) As a sign of strength.
(b) As a betrayal or weakness.
(c) As infidelity to the human spirit.
(d) As a moment of truth.

2. According to Paz, what is the Mexican's relationship with his fellow man?
(a) He respects him only if he is revered.
(b) He respects him only if they are the same social class.
(c) He changes him to Nobody.
(d) He ignores him.

3. According to Paz, what is death in modern thought?
(a) The avoidable end to a wasted life.
(b) The predictable end to a natural progression.
(c) The end of all unworthy men.
(d) The putting to rest of all sorrow.

4. As Paz uderstands it, what is the Mexican's relation to death?
(a) Intimate and heartbreaking.
(b) Sacrificial.
(c) Emotionally remote.
(d) Intimate but empty.

5. What masculine trait enters into the idea of feminine modesty?
(a) Vanity.
(b) Protection.
(c) Love.
(d) Strength.

Short Answer Questions

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

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

3. According to Paz, what does it mean when a person is alone?

4. Why does the modern novelist rarely choose the worker as his protagonist?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

2. In the author's parable, who is Nobody? Is it possible for Nobody to break the progression of his existence? Why or why not?

3. How is the modern murderer different from a murderer of the past? How has modernity contributed to that difference?

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

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

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

7. Who represents the conflict that Mexicans have not been able to solve? What effect does that conflict have on their culture?

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

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

(see the answer keys)

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