The Underdogs by Mariano Azuela The Underdogs is a novel written by Mariano Azuela. It is based on the Mexican Revolution and tells us the story about the lives of the people Azuela served with. The revolution lasted 10 years, starting in 1910 and officially ending in 1920. The Underdogs is famously known as the classic story of the Mexican revolution. In the novel, Azuela mixes actual historical facts so one can imagine what is was like. He also illustrates many of Mexico’s natural landscapes in great detail. This book xamines the political and historical aspects of the revolution as well as the social aspect of the civil war.
The novel reveals the prototypes of the kind of people that can be attracted and involved in these movements. The characters in this novel are made to represent different aspects of the revolution from its innocence to its brutality at the most extreme The main character of this book is called Demetrio Macias. His character represents the people who are leaders. In any society there are certain people who stand out and have leadership qualities. We look to these people for answers and an example of this is Demetrio. He is basically the heart and soul of the novel.
He is what we can portray as the essence of the Mexican revolution. He is a fearless man, very smart and well built. He leads the Revolutionaries, also known as “the rebels”, against the Federalists; which are the government troops. Demetrio’s character seems to be well respected by the Federalist since he has proven to be a strong adversary. However, only good qualities are not what define Demetrio. On the other hand, he has weaknesses. For example, although married, he happens to run into Camilla when staying in a town after one of the battles against the federalists, and convinces her that she should get involved with him.
Also, at the beginning Demetrio has a clear head of his purpose in this revolution, fghting against the injustices of the federalist. However, towards the end he seems to lose focus of the reason behind his and his people’s actions. On the other hand we have Luis Cervantes. His character represents the people who change from one team to the other. Many times, one can Join a team with a certain deal and once you are involved you realize that you should be on the opposing team. A perfect example of this is Cervantes.
He is a medical student once part of the federalist group but deserted once he felt offended. He saw what they did to innocent people and peasants and realized what the revolution meant for the federalist and decided to Join forces with the rebels. Cervantes is seen as an idealist and maximalist much like Anastasio Montanes, Demetrio’s best friend. Opposite from Demetrio’s temporary lose of purpose, Cervantes at many times is the one reminding he Revolutionaries the purpose behind all their efforts. He serves as a voice of reason for Macias.
We can clearly see this when he is reminding the rebels why they snou10 contlnue tnelr Tlgnt ana says, “We are tne Instruments 0T aestlny wno wlll vindicate the sacred rights of the people. “l Cervantes’ character provides ambition and purpose to this group of people. Anastasio Montanes is a close friend to Demetrio. His character represents the people who follow the crowd. Like any other movement, there are people that get involved and support the ideals without having a real connection to it. In this case Anastasio.
He Joined the forces of the rebels only because he is Demetrio’s friend. He is a very apolitical man yet very intelligent. He was the first person to take in Cervantes as part of the rebels when having intellectual conversations with him and recognizing his intelligence. There are many examples of different aspects of the revolutionary movement pertaining to the characters. Other than the three already mentioned you also have La pintada’s character, which represents the female soldiers of the revolution, or
Pancracio’s character that represents the ruthless aspect of the revolution. Another example is Guero Margarito, who is a ruthless man who finds find Justification of his actions in the intensity of these times. Endless aspects were given to every specific character and many prototypes were exposed through each character. All of the characters real or fiction tell us the story of the most violent years of the Mexican revolution. Azuela found a way of telling the story of what he went through during his time serving as a field doctor in the war and the impact it had.