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 familial relationship does Paz equate with solitude?

2. Why does the modern novelist rarely choose the worker as his protagonist?

3. Chapter Three begins with the great effect that fiestas and public celebrations have. What is this effect?

4. How is the myth of the "long-suffering Mexican woman" created?

5. Paz discusses the result of persecution on the pachuco. What is that result?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is the character of the Mexican's solitude? How does it differ from the solitude of the North American?

2. Why was the Aztec nation able to unify so many diverse tribes? How were they quite skilled with that type of action?

3. How important are fiestas in Mexican culture? What relationship exists between the fiesta and the individual?

4. "Is death the truest kind of life" (Chapter Nine, page 196)? What does that question mean in the context of the chapter?

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

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

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

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

9. Why could Mexico not have progressed as far as she has today if she were working within capitalism?

10. What does Paz say about the national differences among Central and South American nations? How does that tie into their relationship with Spain?

Essay 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

"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

What personal experiences did Paz pull from to write the book? How did he incorporate them into the broader scope of Mexican history? How did that affect the tone?

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