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

2. Why does the worker lack mystery?

3. Why does a Mexican blend into his surroundings and become solely Appearance?

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

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

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

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

3. Mexico has entered a new phase of thinking and history. How does Paz explain that phase?

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

5. Women are never able to express their femininity outside the forms that men have created for them to express it. What view of womanhood does that idea present?

6. What happened when Spanish America separated itself from Spain? Given what Paz has stated throughout the book about that moment in history, draw your own conclusions about why that happened.

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

8. "The pachuco has lost his whole inheritance: Language, religion, customs, and beliefs. He is left with only a body and a soul with which to confront the elements" (Chapter One, pg 15). Is that a true statement?

9. 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?

10. What role did Catholicism play in the lives of the conquering Spaniards? Was that role contradictory?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What is the Mexican view of privacy? Why does Paz defend it at such cost? What part does lying play in his defense? Is that accepted?

Essay Topic 2

In Paz's arguments, how important is the Mexican sense of place? What affects it? What is its most important aspect? Explain the sense of place in the greater context of the Mexican mindset that Paz presents throughout the book.

Essay Topic 3

What are the varieties of chingar that the author explains? Does that help your comprehension of the word? Does it enrich your understanding of Mexican culture?

(see the answer keys)

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