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

2. When Aztec victims were sacrificed, why did their deaths lack personal meaning?
(a) Their lives did not belong to them.
(b) Any sacrifice to the gods was seen impersonally.
(c) No one was left to mourn for them.
(d) They were at the bottom of the social scale.

3. What connotation does the verb, chingar, carry?
(a) Violation.
(b) Disaster.
(c) Failure.
(d) Mythical power.

4. When does intimacy sprout among Mexicans?
(a) When the nation is least involved in world affairs.
(b) When they are most alone.
(c) When they are in love.
(d) When incited by violence, alcohol, or a fiesta.

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

Short Answer Questions

1. What is the most valued trait in both the military and political realms?

2. According to Paz, why does the liar tell lies to himself?

3. In Paz's opinion, when is a person most likely to see himself as precious and unique?

4. According to Paz, how does death end when a civilization denies it?

5. As Paz uderstands it, what is the Mexican's relation to death?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. In Chapter Three, the following idea is presented: "There is nothing so joyous as a Mexican fiesta, but there is also nothing so sorrowful. Fiesta night is also a night of mourning" (Chapter 3, page 53). What does that mean?

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

5. Why does a male child, even at a young age, identify love with taboos?

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

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

8. What is the role of the Mexican intelligentsia within society? How does it differ from the function of the intelligentsia within the United States and Europe; and which one is a better role?

9. What is the power of Paz's idea that perhaps man can begin to dream with his eyes closed? (Chapter Nine, page 212).

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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