Summary of Book “The Labyrinth of Solitude” by Octavio Paz

In this book by the Author Octavio Paz, called The Labyrinth of Solitude, we see how he explains more about Mexico, how it is divided into eight chapters:

The first chapter is called Pachuco and other extremes the author tells us about his entire adolescence, where he spent it in Mexico trying to know himself and have a self-awareness of situations Octavio Paz, carried out his analysis in the city of Los Angeles, making comparisons between Mexicans and Americans, seeing why millions of Mexicans emigrate there daily.

The author of The Labyrinth of Solitude in this chapter defines us as “Pachuco” Like all those Mexicans who emigrate to the United States, but cannot adapt to this new system, but still do not want to return to their native country. The author tells us that this is irritating and annoying and one of the worst mistakes a Mexican immigrant could make.

Octavio Paz says that there is no inferiority complex of the Mexican, with a phrase that says “Feeling alone is not feeling inferior but different” The loneliness seen by a Mexican is more than everything in the certain religious sense and especially death that according to They are the perfect company of life, that is why we see that in this country the day of the dead is celebrated, because they say that it is the one that gives life. Mexicans who emigrate go with a somewhat defiant attitude and a little awareness of loneliness, but always trying to find their place despite this labyrinth. the Mexican tries to get back to his center, in the middle of that labyrinth left by the immense indigenous substratum and the succession of conquests, both physical and cultural.

The second chapter is called Mexican Masks, explaining the identity of any Mexican, about masks he tells us that many times they use facets as a means of defense, just as they often use silence.

It tells us about machismo regarding women, who must be submissive, a good mother, a good wife, among others, because this was in previous cultures, but nevertheless without women this term would not exist, because they are needed for everything. Another Mexican mask, it can be the one of lies, between what they were and wanted to be, it ends up simulating many things, to the extreme of becoming a complete stranger, for the simple fact of wanting to be something that is not, and this it becomes a totally fictitious reality.

The third chapter is called Todos los santos, día de los muertos deals with the day of the dead, it is one of the traditions that are only present in Mexico that takes place once a year, these holidays are very important for them, because in this the past and the present are believed to be together and reconciled.

This wonderful tradition is celebrated in any Mexican city or town, since this is a luxury throughout the country and the best festivals that distinguish our country for the great variety of food, life and of course the beliefs of the different peoples. The ancient Aztecs had the ancient belief that both life and death, none of this belonged to themselves, but that everything was part of a plan of all their gods.

The fifth chapter is called The children of Malinche at the beginning a criticism is made about capitalism, in which it is done that humans try to become workers, when they do it then they become workers who produce goods that they themselves become consumers.

In Mexico it is customary to celebrate the cry of freedom and independence in whatever country they are, in their native country it is celebrated on September 15. For those who like children’s stories, to entertain the little ones it is interesting to read The Wolf Strikes, a book written by Christopher Pernaudet and published in 2016

The word Malinche comes from an old Mexican tale that says that no one grants forgiveness for having participated in the conquest, likewise no one who lives in Mexico would deny that the Virgin of Guadalupe helped them at those times.

The fifth chapter is called: the Conquest and colony, it tells us about the arrival of the Spaniards to these Mexican lands, on their arrival they found these tribes that lived in that year, but most with their rivalries, but all shared an enemy in common, which were the Aztecs, because they made blood sacrifices and always came to capture them. Some who were captured by the Aztec tribe, saw this conquest as a liberation, since in the same way they were going to sacrifice it, for that reason they did not offer any resistance. The chiefs of the Aztec tribe believed that this era had ended and another was about to begin, since all the prophecies said and the signs that were seen, everything was being fulfilled as they said, the gods had truly abandoned them. The new Spain was now beginning,

But some of this tribe did not refuse to embrace the image of a God who was humiliated and sacrificed on a cross, since they felt identified, because it was something like those that had happened to him. The sixth chapter is called independence to the revolution that began by Simón Bolívar and San Martín, to free South America from all this slavery on the part of the Spaniards, but it was never intended to change any of the structures, neither economic nor social. . In 1857 the first constitution of the country emerged, a reform released by Benito Juárez also began. But despite this, the dream of a productive Mexico that can do everything never existed, when Juárez died, the power of the caudillistas emerged again. But the United States, I take this opportunity, to take half of its territory from Mexico.

The seventh chapter is called Mexican intelligence deals with the early stages of life and the importance of education. José Vasconcelos was the author of what we call modern education in the country of Mexico. In the case of literature, a great reflection is made on what was the first conquest by the Spanish and the life of the indigenous people. As it was about taking the country high, nothing better than doing them with intelligent people. At the time of the caudillos, they were satisfied with so many studied people and after these, each one began to have different professions.

Octavio Paz still maintains the idea that the modern Mexican world no longer has ideas and that the ideas with which they grew up were heirs to all the conquests they brought from Europe.

The eighth chapter is called Our Days Octavio Paz tells us that despite all the revolutions they made in history, the one in Mexico was the first revolution of the 20th century. But these revolutions have not made Mexico a community, not even a hope of it.

The capitalism system is benefiting from the economy. The working classes, as well as the bourgeoisie, are in the same way, trying to leave the people in poverty, trying to maintain a dollarized economy. However, Octavio Paz does not see the solution in socialism either. The author defines that it would be better for all the countries with the same problem to join, in order to find a better solution. It is recommended to read What’s Happening to the Planet, a story that has a great reflection on the importance of caring for and conserving the planet.