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's argument, what is the source of the North American's irritation with the pachuco?

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

3. What did Paz find in the actions and faces of North Americans?

4. Why did Catholicism drastically change the Aztec view of life?

5. Through dissimulation, what does a Mexican attempt to do?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What is the world of terrorism like? How is it different from the past world of conquest and war?

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

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

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

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

8. What is left of the colonial world? Are those remnants the best or the worst parts that could be left behind?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

What are the gender roles explained throughout the book? Given the culture and the time, what are the gender expectations? Who acts against those expectations?

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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