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. What is the novelty of the pachuco clothing?

2. Which of the following powers does the saying "I am your father" hold? (Chapter Four, page 80).

3. What is Paz's opinion about Western respect for life?

4. What is the most valued trait in both the military and political realms?

5. In Paz's view, why does the Spaniard still use and enjoy blasphemy?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

6. "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?

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

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

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

What are the varieties of chingar that the author explains? Does that help your comprehension of the word? Does it enrich your understanding of Mexican culture?

Essay Topic 2

In modern Mexico, what are the contrasting ways of thinking (pg 119-20)? In that context, is Spanish heritage good? How do those two mindsets continue to influence current politics and thought?

Essay Topic 3

Who is the Chingada? What roots does she have in Aztec religion and history? Like her opposite, the Virgin of Guadalupe, is redemption possible?

(see the answer keys)

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