Second Examination (Part I)
Mariano Azuela's The Underdogs tells the story of a dauntless Indian farmer who almost unintentionally rises to a generalship in Pancho Villa's rebel army during the Mexican Revolution of 1910. Though the events that occur throughout the book are not actual events that took place during the revolution, Azuela is able to paint a very realistic picture of the revolution and leaves a bitter taste in the mouth of the reader as one witnesses the failure of the rebels. This novel is a great teaching tool that reveals truths of the revolution that would not have been given justice through the traditional historical scholarship. Through fictional characters, Azuela's The Underdogs exposes the conflicting and changing course of the Mexican Revolution and the every day life for the people involved in it, from the soldiers caught up in the whirlwind of it all to the ordinary people just trying to survive.
Azuela's main tool to portray the events or the Mexican Revolution is the characters themselves. These characters represent the different attitudes and types of people involved in the revolution, the main character being Demetrio Macías. Demetrio represents the many brave leaders during the revolution, such as Obregon, Zapata, Madero, and the like, as they too sacrificed a lot in hopes of seeing a great change. Demetrio is a courageous and well respected warrior who is forced to fight for the cause. He sees the big picture and is determined to fight until the end. Even when he senses imminent defeat as the Federals begin to close in on him and he finds himself alone, Demetrio continues to fight. His "famous marksmanship fills him with joy. Where he settles his glance, he settles a bullet. He loads his gun once more ... takes aim" (p. 160). Not only Demetrios will, but also the will and determination of the many heroic leaders who emerged during the revolution, can be further represented by the...