THE UNDERDOGS with Related Text (Mariano Azuela) By: Maria Moreno History 30 Professor Arguello
Introduction to the book… Mariano Azuelo’s The Underdogs was originally published in 1915. It appeared between October and December in an El Paso newspaper. By 1952, the novel was recognized worldwide as the classic story of the Mexican Revolution. The first part of the novel corresponds to the second phase of the revolution.
Important Character Demetrio Marcia'sDemetrio embodies the spirit, courage, and charisma of the revolutionaries' fight against the Mexican government. He is illiterate, a peasant, and an American Indian. He loves his home in Limon, his wife, and his son. The trajectory of his character in the novel moves from honorable leader to a challenged and limited general, to a completely disillusioned post-revolutionary figure. He represents the scope of the Mexican Revolution from promise and perspective.
Mexico The Underdogs is set in the countryside and mountains, small villages, and cities of Mexico from 1910-1915. The revolutionaries and Federales are woven together in the fabric of Mexico’s fight for its identity in the early twentieth century. Azuela shows the crisis of ideology as the two opposing forces impose their wills across the country. When the novel begins, the reader immediately falls into the sights, sounds, tastes, feelings, and smells of a small village in Mexico. Demetrio’s home of Limon is filled with the sound of dogs barking, Federals and horses.
Important Theme The Underdogs illustrates Mexico's vast natural landscape. The mountains, ravines, and trees are presented with grand beauty and also a haunting sense of foreboding. When Demetrio climbs the craggy mountains and steep ravines, the reader senses his great effort; every step requires tremendous effort. The landscape is stark and dry; there is no sense of growth or life. When the Federales are charging up the mountain, they fall into crevices like “stones” into the water.
About the Author Mariano Azuela was born in Lagos de Moreno, Jalisco, Mexico in 1873. His family were grocers and Azuela spent his youth on a small farm owned by his father. At fourteen, he enrolled in a Catholic seminary. He went to Guadalajara to study medicine and returned to Lagos in 1909 to start his practice. In 1896, he published stories in a weekly newspaper in Mexico City. He published his first novel, Andres Perez, in 1911.