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. Above all other definitions, who is the Chingada?

2. When does the pachuco become his true self?

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

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

5. Which of the following powers does the saying "I am your father" hold? (Chapter Four, page 80).

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

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

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

4. "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?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What is Mexico's relation to the rest of the world? How is it different from the past? What are Paz's hopes and fears for the future? Do you agree or disagree with his ideas?

Essay Topic 2

What connections exist between love and solitude? What dangers exist within them? How does the Mexican break through the bonds of both? Clearly address and explain Paz's arguments, especially toward the end of 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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