The Labyrinth of Solitude: Life and Thought in Mexico Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. How does the pachuco present himself to the people around him?

2. What mentality does Paz attribute to the Mexican?

3. Through dissimulation, what does a Mexican attempt to do?

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

5. How does solitude assume a purifying, almost purgative, quality for the Mexican?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is the Mexican view of death? When does death become saddest?

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

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

4. What is the world of terrorism like? How is it different from the past world of conquest and war?

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

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

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

8. 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?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

"Catholicism offered a refuge to the descendants of those who had seen the extermination of their ruling classes, the destruction of their temples and manuscripts, and the suppression of the superior forms of their culture; but for the same reason that it was decadent in Europe, it denied them any chance of expressing their singularity" (Chapter Five, pg 105). What does that mean? How does it fit in with the idea of conquered peoples being assigned a passive role?

Essay Topic 2

In modern Mexico, what are the contrasting ways of thinking (pg 119-20)? In that context, is Spanish heritage good? How do those two mindsets continue to influence current politics and thought?

Essay Topic 3

Does Paz's writing style mirror the subject? When is he vociferous? When does it feel that he is holding something back?

(see the answer keys)

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