The Labyrinth of Solitude: Life and Thought in Mexico Test | Final 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 has history demonstrated through certain Contra authors such as Isaac Deutscher?

2. In Asia and Africa, what two seemingly-contradictory ideologies are being used?

3. What is Paz's solution for the lack of capital?

4. Mexico lacks basic industries except for one - what is it?

5. How does the Indian perceive salvation? (Chapter Five).

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What role did Catholicism play in the lives of the conquering Spaniards? Was that role contradictory?

3. Pulling from the ideas of Jose Gaos, Paz, speaks of the physical duality in Mexico. What does that mean? What significance does that idea have?

4. What does Paz think of the Soviet Union? How does it compare to Mexico?

5. Why did the new Constitution mandate that education be secular? How might that have made the Mexicans feel?

6. What role did Jose Vasconcelos play in modern education? From Paz's descriptions, what is his opinion of Vasconcelos?

7. Who was Sor Juana? Why was she an unusual person both in South America and in old Spain?

8. What role did religion play in ancient South American cultures? Did Catholicism change that role?

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

10. When did Independence begin in Mexico? How was it similar to or different from the Conquest?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

"Man is alone everywhere. But the solitude of the Mexican, under the great stone night of the high plateau that is still inhabited by insatiable gods, is very different from that of the North American, who wanders in an abstract world of machines, fellow citizens and moral precepts" (Chapter One, pg 20). What does that mean? Is it true?

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

(see the answer keys)

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