The Underdogs: The Mexican Revolution

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When viewing the Mexican Revolution, a dichotomy between destruction and creation appears. When it kicked off in 1910, it was in the pursuit of noble goals. But at its core, the Revolution was a rebellion and at the heart of all rebellions is war. And with war comes destruction and death. While the Revolution last for at least a decade and perhaps longer, for the individuals involved life was often, as Thomas Hobbes once wrote, nasty, brutish, and short. Therefore, a question arises: how can creation and destruction find reconciliation in the Mexican Revolution? Mariano Azuela’s The Underdogs is often labelled a classic for multiple reasons. The first resides in the quality of Azuela’s writing. Demetrio Macías’ story is epic, in both class …show more content…

Take, for example, the curro Luis Cervantes; a pseudointellectual, Cervantes attempts to avoid the fighting if possible. This quality makes him the most peaceful of Macías’ soldiers. Yet, Cervantes is still driven by a desire for destruction; he hopes that one day he will be able to extinguish the light of the men who he feels slighted him. For Cervantes, no ardent desire for reform, the most educated of Macías’ men, exists. The actions of Macías’ and his men throughout the book are those of men at war; by nature, war is destructive. Once such notable incident is Macía’s attack on a group of federales stationed in a small town. Lightly armed, the ruthlessness of Macías and his men led to the destruction of the federales. Even outside battle, Macía’s soldiers engaged in barbaric activity. In one case, the group stole corn from a widower with nine children. Despite orders from Macías to return the corn, one of the most morbid characters in the book refused to part with the stolen corn. Instead, he beat the man with his sword for his troubles. These events are just a glimpse into the destructive actions that occur within the novel. In fact, The Underdogs is replete with characters whose motives are primal and coarse, absent of any of the honorable goals of the Revolution. Towards the end of part one of the novel, Señor Solís, an intellectual and acquaintance of Luis Cervantes, provides a stellar depiction of not only the events within the book, but war in

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