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 mentality does Paz attribute to the Mexican?

2. When does the pachuco become his true self?

3. Why does the worker lack mystery?

4. What is Paz's opinion about the physical features distinguishing Mexicans from North Americans?

5. What is the French sociologists' interpretation of the fiesta?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. "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?

3. What mutual problem do both the Mexican and the North American face? What is the solution to that problem?

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

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

6. 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?

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

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

9. 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?

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

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

When does the author mention the Mexican ripping open his breast to reveal his emotions? What similarities and differences do those stories share? What emotions are encapsulated within them?

Essay Topic 3

What dualities did Sor Juana represent (philosophical, religious, gender-based)? What lasting influence did she have?

(see the answer keys)

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