Overviewof a chapter: Mexican Masks
Itis easy for someone without a clear understanding of the history ofMexicans to despise their behavior and beliefs. The chapter “MexicanMasks” explores several themes that change the readers’ opinionof Mexicans. For example, the theme of solitude that the author opensthe article with puts it clear that Mexicans isolate themselves andkeep their secrets because of their traditional belief that tellingsecretes to other people is a sign of weaknesses or betrayal (Paz30). In the absence of such an explanation, it would be easy toassume that Mexicans isolate themselves and fail to open up to othersout of arrogance and pride.
Inaddition, the author addresses the critical issue of the influence ofone’s history on the current beliefs and practices. From thearticle it is possible to trace the solitude of the present Mexicansfrom their forefathers and different historical experiences. Thearticle widens the readers’ understanding of the fact that historyshapes that future of the society. For example, the hostility and theharshness of the environment in which Mexicans have lived in haveshaped their current lifestyle and beliefs. It would be impossiblefor a non-Mexican or even a young Mexican to understand the origin ofthe Mexicans’ solitude. It would also be impossible to imagine thatkeeping secrets and solitude are signs of the true manhood andbravery of a Mexican man. The author gives readers a new dimension ofthinking, where solitude can be thought of a critical defensive toolor weapon.
Theauthor also addresses the theme of the role of women in the Mexicansociety. Although Paz seems to suggest that the perception of womenas home keepers is a reserve of the Mexicans, it is evident that thisis an outdated belief that was held by nearly all communities inglobally. What explaining attitudes and perceptions that Mexicansinherited from the interaction between Arabs and Mexicans, Paz states“A woman’s place is in the home” (36). Seeing women asdomesticated animals that should be subdued using a stick is not onlypracticed by Mexicans, but also by other communities that believe inwife beating. However, the author helps the reader make a distinctionbetween the Mexican perception of women and perceptions held by othercommunities. Mexicans, unlike other communities, do not attribute anyevil to their women, but rather consider them as secret and passivebeings. Paz manages to shape the opinion of the reader by showingthat Mexicans do not require their women to play the roles of homekeeping because they hate or see them as being evil, but because theybelieve that home is the place that nature gave to women.
Beforereading the Chapter “Mexican Masks”, it would be difficult tounderstand how Mexicans have managed to keep their practice ofsolitude for centuries and include in their political system.However, Paz addresses the issue and makes it clear that Mexicans areguided by principles that are clearly stated. Following the clearlystated principles help Mexicans remain formal even in their dailylife. This is done in pursuit of an orderly and a free society. Inconclusion, the Chapter “Mexican Masks” is informative and clearsthe misunderstandings that the reader may have regarding the solitudeof Mexicans and other traditional practices.
Paz,O. TheLabyrinth of solitude: The other Mexico return to the Labyrinth ofsolitude Mexico and the United States.New York, NY: Grove Press Incorporation, 1985. Print.