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. In Paz's estimation, what vital word has the Mexican forgotten?

2. How does the pachuco present himself to the people around him?

3. How does the philosophy of progress treat death?

4. Why do Mexicans tell lies (Chapter Two)?

5. Above all other definitions, who is the Chingada?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. How does North American culture view the pachuco? Does the pachuco accept or reject that culture's perception of him?

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

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

5. How do Mexicans view their bodies? How does their view contribute to their wish for privacy?

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

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

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

9. "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?

10. What is the greatest horror that a worker suffers? Do you think that is true?

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

"Catholicism offered a refuge to the descendants of those who had seen the extermination of their ruling classes, the destruction of their temples and manuscripts, and the suppression of the superior forms of their culture; but for the same reason that it was decadent in Europe, it denied them any chance of expressing their singularity" (Chapter Five, pg 105). What does that mean? How does it fit in with the idea of conquered peoples being assigned a passive role?

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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