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. Why does the modern novelist rarely choose the worker as his protagonist?

2. What is the Spanish view of women in contrast to the Mexican?

3. From what does a fiesta free the Mexican, in Paz's understanding?

4. In Paz's understanding of genders, how do Mexican women become like men?

5. What do a pachuco's actions and lifestyle demonstrate?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

5. What is Paz's understanding of woman? How does it fit the Mexican mindset?

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

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

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

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

10. "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?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What inspired the author to write this book? What questions did he hope to answer, and did he answer them satisfactorily?

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

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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