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 is the fiesta, at its core, a revolution?

2. As Paz uderstands it, what is the Mexican's relation to death?

3. What is the difference between the Mexican killer and the modern one?

4. As Paz begins Chapter Two, he says that the Mexican is always afraid to glance at his neighbor. What reason does he give for that?

5. What happens when the Mexican dissimulates?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. 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?

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

5. 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?

6. What is the modern view of death? How is it dramatically different from the Aztec view?

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 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

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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