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. As the closure to Chapter Two, the reader sees what shadow spreading out over Mexico?

2. Where does Paz state that the Mexican's indifference hides his life force?

3. In Latin America, what was the importance of Jose Gorostiza's poem, Muerte sin Fin?

4. Why are a woman's instincts those of a species rather than her own?

5. In his obsession with hygiene, work, and health, what does the North American miss?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Mexico's poverty relate to the fiesta? What French interpretation did it inspire?

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

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

4. 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?

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

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

7. 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?

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Examine the organization of the book. How is the material organized? What are the chapter titles? Do the titles prepare you for the material presented?

Essay Topic 2

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

Essay Topic 3

Find the deaths that are mentioned in the book. According to the Mexican criterion for a worthy death - the death suits the life - how many of those people died a worthy death? How many of them died a death that did not suit their lives?

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