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 horror did Cortez's rule not commit?

2. In Paz's estimation, why do the common people follow their revolutionary leaders?

3. What event precipitated Spain's complete loss of power?

4. What was an important element of all ancient cultures?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. How did Catholicism reduce the Indian converts into passive believers? How was that a significant blow?

4. 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?

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

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

7. How was the Revolution similar to a fiesta? Because of any existing similarity, why do the people cling to that time in history? Can that be considered healthy?

8. How does Paz define "Mexicanism"? How does it mesh with the individual whom he had described earlier?

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

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

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

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 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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