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. Above all other definitions, who is the Chingada?

2. To follow Paz's previous argument, what is the result when one Mexican confides in another?

3. What duality does the pachuco represent?

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

5. Paz says that during critical moments in a nation's development, the people ask themselves a critical question. What is that question?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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