Emiliano Zapata Myths

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Emiliano Zapata has garnered a cult of personality that shares a common trait with myths from the beginning of time in which people would create gods to worship and heroes to admire. Zapata was a revolutionary during the Mexican Revolution who stands out as one of the most admirable figures in Mexican history. From the state of Morelos near the city of Mexico, he started a practical movement for land redistribution in his home state that transforms into an ideology of rebelling against bad government and a true representation of the majority of Mexico. Zapata’s myth by this time has become ubiquitous in Mexico in which highways, streets, and a statue show his significance in Mexican history and various books would be written about his life…show more content…
In the period that followed the revolution, Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros, and Jose Clemente Orozco would become famous for presenting the history of Mexico, and of the three Rivera and Orozco would present their interpretation of Zapata, showing the symbolic strength of Zapata and the prevalence of his myth. Artists are as well as a proxy for the popular imagination since many ideas that they would express in their art would be what a section society. This reflects back on the manner in which many Mexicans during 1920 and 1930 being illiterate would come to understand their history and identity through their murals. Out of these artists, the one who would make Zapata into a hero would be Diego Rivera. The mural originally painted in the archway of the Palacio de Cortes in Cuernavaca includes the history of Morelos in which Zapata is present. The image shows Zapata in a white campesino clothes also called calzones, in which he holds in his left arm a sickle. He holds the reigns to a white horse that shares in the center in the MOMA mural. He stands over a dead hacienda official that lies on the floor, and has a mass of campesino behind him holding farming tools as weapons. This portrayal of Zapata gives the most positive view of Zapata, partly from Rivera’s politics and the influences of the stories told about the man. This portrayal makes Zapata into a campesino messiah. By doing this, the image of Zapata becomes more relatable, since rather than have his charro…show more content…
In most traditional myths, the finalizing of a story comes when it is expressed in a play and myth of Zapata can be culminated into the film, which mixes the historical aspects along with myths in Viva Zapata! In all, the movie as a whole shows the power of Zapata’s myth since it was a movie produced by an American movie studio, written by John Steinbeck and would have an actor that would be considered one of the greatest of his generation, Marlon Brando. The way in which his life is portrayed is rather faithful to various sources that describe his life. The movie itself gives a faithful representation of Zapata’s life, but still presents elements of the myth of Zapata. One of interesting note is one that although has a source, it is questionable whether it actually occurred. Gildardo Magaña, a Zapatista intellectual that became an emissary to Villa and successor to Zapata, gives an account of Zapata’s meeting with Francisco Madero, which the movie takes line for line. Zapata reasons with Madero that he and his army cannot give up their weapons can be compared to him stealing the watch of the president. He has the right to keep it and the president without a weapon must allow him to keep the watch. If they meet again and Madero has a weapon, does he have the right to reclaim his watch? Madero would say that he does and Zapata says that this is the situation of the Hacendados and that the campesinos simply want to take back what is theirs. This quote, which in part some
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