The Underdogs By Mariano Azuela Essay

960 words - 4 pages

Author Mariano Azuela's novel of the Mexican revolution, The Underdogs, conveys a fictional representation of the revolution and the effects it had on the Mexican men and women who lived during that time. The revolutionary rebels were composed of different men grouped together to form small militias against the Federalists, in turn sending them on journeys to various towns, for long periods of time. Intense fighting claimed the lives of many, leaving women and children behind to fend for themselves. Towns were devastated forcing their entire populations to seek refuge elsewhere. The revolution destroyed families across Mexico, leaving mothers grieving for their abducted daughters, wives for their absent husbands, and soldiers for their murdered friends. The novel's accurate depiction also establishes some of the reasons why many joined the revolution, revealing that often, those who joined were escaping their lives to fight for an unknown cause.

The Underdogs' protagonist, Demetrio Macias, joins the fight against the Federalists after his house is burned and his dog is shot, as a result of a quarrel he had with Don Monico, the boss of his town, Moyahua (48). Macias "spit on his beard because he wouldn't mind his own business...Then just because [he] did that [Don Monico] had the whole...Federal Government against [him]" (Azuela 50). Many rebels, like Macias, joined the revolution in search for a better life, free from persecution by local caciques. The rebels were unhappy with the way government officials treated the poor, by stealing their pigs, chicken and corn, burning their homes and carrying off with their women (Azuela 17). Others were running away from the law, for crimes they had committed. In The Underdogs, one of Macias's men, Quail, joined because he had "stolen a watch and some diamond rings," while his friend, Venacio, joined because he poisoned his sweetheart by feeding her Spanish fly (Azuela 38). Some revolutionaries were Federalist deserters, who were forced to join the Federalist army. Azuela refers to a soldier who was abducted from his home in the middle of the night by Federalists, and woke up a soldier, twenty-five miles from his home (26). Luis Cervantes, a medical student in Azuela's The Underdogs, "wrote a piece in favor of the revolution... [and] as a result, they persecuted [him], caught [him], and finally landed [him] in the barrack" as well (22).

The chaotic revolution bread violence and confusion amongst the ill informed population. As a result, families fled southward in search for a safe haven. "Trains were overloaded with people; there was scarcity of trucks and coaches; hundreds of people, panic stricken, walked along the highroad with their belongings in a pack slung over their shoulders" (Azuela 46). Women, who were left behind while their husbands fought, were faced with extensive abuse from Federalist soldiers. Young women were abducted and...

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