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. In contrast to the North American, what is one of the most noticeable traits about the Mexican character?
(a) His acceptance of horror.
(b) His aversion to horror.
(c) His disinterest in emotional attachments.
(d) His obsession with love.

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

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

4. What is the Spanish view of women in contrast to the Mexican?
(a) Women are idols.
(b) Women are decent and modest.
(c) Women are wild and lecherous.
(d) Women are shaped by the minds of men.

5. How is the myth of the "long-suffering Mexican woman" created?
(a) When the woman's natural frailty becomes a virtue.
(b) When the woman becomes impassive in the face of suffering.
(c) When the woman is most vulnerable to attack.
(d) When the woman overcomes her natural frailty.

Short Answer Questions

1. How are the evil words a sign and seal?

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

3. What did Paz find in the actions and faces of North Americans?

4. Aside from being an excess, what does the fiesta revolt against?

5. How does Paz differentiate between views of the body in Mexico and North America?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What mutual problem do both the Mexican and the North American face? What is the solution to that problem?

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

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

5. 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?

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

7. What is the origin of the pachuco? How does that characterization prepare the reader for the rest of the book?

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

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

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

(see the answer keys)

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