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 fiend whose trademark is hearty laughter.
(b) A victim obsessed with revenge.
(c) A clown whose purpose is terror.
(d) A saint deeply involved in scandal.

2. Through dissimulation, what does a Mexican attempt to do?
(a) Become himself in contradistinction to others.
(b) Share his individuality with others to make it real.
(c) Withdraw from society to save his individuality.
(d) Become invisible and save his individuality.

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

4. How did Paz consider his philosophical questions?
(a) As a waste of time.
(b) As the only means to find answers.
(c) As an excuse for not facing reality.
(d) As meaningful only if they addressed the question of Mexican identity.

5. What does the Mexican value in art, religion, and politics?
(a) Originality.
(b) Purity.
(c) Equality.
(d) Form.

Short Answer Questions

1. According to Paz's argument, what is the source of the North American's irritation with the pachuco?

2. To follow Paz's previous argument, what is the result when one Mexican confides in another?

3. Chapter Three begins with the great effect that fiestas and public celebrations have. What is this effect?

4. According to Paz, what is the Mexican's relationship with his fellow man?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. Who is the Chingada? What relation does she hold to every Mexican, whether male or female?

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

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

4. What happens during the fiesta? What is the emotional result?

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

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

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

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

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

10. 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?

(see the answer keys)

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