English 117, Acosta-MataFinal PaperFinding “Mexicanidad”: A Literary Analysis of Octavio Paz’s The Labyrinth of Solitude Widely acknowledged as the one of greatest poets of his timei, Octavio Paz was born on March 31, 1914, in the small town of Mixcoac, located just outside of Mexico City. Born into a distinguished family that was heavily embedded in politics and academic circles, Paz began writing about cultural and political issues from a young age. Thanks to his grandfather, Ireneo Paz, who was also a revered political activist and writer,Octavio had access to an extensive library of diverse literatureiithat would serve as foundational blocks in Paz’s writing career. Over the course of his career, Octavio Paz wrote over 30 books and poetry collections and received numerous awards for his work. Among the many awards that he received in his lifetime, the most notable are his 1981 Cervantes Prize and the 1990 Nobel Prize in literature. According to his obituary in Americas, “Paz’s literature career helped to define …the Mexican personality.”iiiMuch of Paz’s works revolve around themes concerning to women, loneliness, and the “Mexican identity”. His discussion on these themes is most evident in his book titled; The Labyrinth of Solitude. In The Labyrinth,Paz seeks to construct an identity for the Mexican people so that they no longer float in “limbo” wondering who they are. Through his collection of nine essays, Paz is determined to answer the question “Who are we?”by shedding light on the important role conquest in Mexico’s history has played in construction of the Mexican identity. The themes mentioned previously all parallel as major reoccurring themes our class discussed as being ever-present in popular Mexican literature.