The Underdogs Luis Azuela Analysis

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The Underdogs by Mariano Azuela is a story about the rebellion against Porfirio Diaz, specifically the lives of peasant farmers who took up arms against the Federals. There are three themes that are the most prevalent throughout the book; greed and cruelty, the hypocrisy of the peasant soldiers, and the lack of personal purpose for the revolution. Each of these themes are tied to the author’s message about the actuality of the Mexican revolution. The Underdogs follows a peasant farmer named Demetrio Macias and the men he leads into battle. Despite this being a book about a war, much of the book is about the lives of Demetrio and his men in between battles, rather than during battles. Originally, Demetrio spends his time healing from wounds…show more content…
It was their reason for fighting; they wanted to protect their people and land from the Federals’ greed. Strangely enough, while on the move from battlefield to battlefield, they display the same behavior they claimed to despise. The character Luis Cervantes displays the most hypocrisy out of all of the revolutionist. Cervantes was once a Federal soldier who joined Demetrio in the rebellion. Out of all of Demetrio’s men, he is the most averse to the tyranny of the government and the most passionate about the revolution. Ironically, he is the one…. He even burns down a house with a family inside with what Demetrio describes as a curious eagerness. Demetrio, in fact, was the one to order Cervantes to set fire to the house, despite the Federals burning down his house at the beginning of the book. He describes the image of his wife carrying his child away from the ruins before calling out the order anyway, “A painful silhouette has crossed his mind. A woman with a child in her arms, walking over the rocks of the sierra in the moonlight… A house in…show more content…
Why are we even fighting anymore? Why do we continue to support the revolution? This is a question posed for Demetrio several time throughout the novel and is a question he can never really answer. He finds the answer, not in himself and his own mind, but the mind of his compadre, Valderrama, who, when questioned about the warring revolutionary groups, states, “Villa? Obregon? Carranza? What do I care? … I love the revolution like I love a volcano that’s erupting! The volcano because it’s a volcano; the revolution because it’s the revolution!” (Azuela 137) This way of thinking appears in almost every single character throughout the books and can be used to explain the behavior of Demetrio and his companions. They lack a purpose but have somehow convinced themselves that the revolution is their purpose. Despite all of the looting, raping, and violence, the persuade themselves that they are fighting for a just cause when they are really fighting for the sake of fighting. They relish in their victories, explicitly describing the bloodshed they have unleashed and praising themselves for it. Mariano Azuela reveals the reality of Mexican Revolution by weaving these themes throughout his book. Each of these themes is a direct insult to the glorification of the revolution and shows it for what it really is. Rather than the brave revolutionaries vs. the cruel Federals, a story of good vs. evil, The
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