One of the lesser known works from the series, The Rape, in the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, exemplifies Orozco's horrific vision of the Revolution. In a ransacked room, a soldier mounts a half-naked woman, pinning her down to the floor by her arms and hair. Bottles of alcohol, as well as the soldiers' hats, a rifle and a cane are strewn about the floor. A chair teeters over; a painting and a hanging mirror have been knocked asunder; and the glass door of the armoire is shattered. The dynamic zig-zag lines utilized by Orozco to represent the glass reflections of the hanging mirror and the armoire door heighten the tension and volatility of the scene.
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The Underdogs follows the rise and fall of Demetrio Macias and his band of rebels during the Mexican Revolution of the early nineteen hundreds. The novel charts Demetrio's rise from farmer to general of the northern rebel army, and his subsequent decline and the deterioration of his army.
Demetrio is forced to flee from his farm by Federal soldiers, and he accumulates a group of twenty similarly disaffected peasant men. In a skirmish with Federals, in which Demetrio's band is greatly outmatched, Demetrio nevertheless displays superior tactics and marksmanship, causing the Federals to retreat, though he is shot and becomes very sick in the process.
Feverish, Demetrio is brought to a ranch where his men are hailed as heroes of the peasants. There, he meets a man named Luis Cervantes, a former medical student who provides a larger, intellectual perspective on the Revolution. Demetrio becomes smitten with a local girl named Camilla who nurses him back to health, but Camilla has eyes only for Luis, who rejects her because of her low class origins. Demetrio continues to score victories against the Federals and eventually displays heroics at the Federal army's last stronghold, Zacatecas, snatching victory from the jaws of defeat.
He attains the rank of general. After Zacatecas, Demetrio's army and his own psychological state, begin to decline. Where before they were motivated by the ideals of the revolution, now his army uses the revolution as a pretext for looting and murder.
Two new recruits in particular, Blondie and War Paint, epitomize the sadistic abuse of power perpetrated by the men, as Blondie tortures townspeople for no reason, and War Paint delights in destruction, madness, and looting, completely unconcerned with the larger history being made around her.
Towns begin to turn on Demetrio's army, viewing them as intruders and pirates rather than saviors. There is some promise that warfare may come to an end with an agreement for a new President at a town called Aguascalientes, but, appropriate to the pessimistic mood of the novel throughout, Aguascalientes only ends with more uncertainty and an extension to the revolution, when it is revealed that two rebel leaders are now vying for the Presidency. Demetrio understands little of the politics of the war and wishes only to fight and be told what to do and where to be.
In the final days, Luis abandons Demetrio, and many of Demetrio's friends and soldiers have died. Demetrio revisits his wife and child at his farm, but, a changed man, he can no longer go back to his old existence. Thereafter, Demetrio pessimistically trudges toward certain death against a rival rebel faction near his former farm, forever changed and made soulless by war.
Read more from the Study Guide. Browse all BookRags Study Guides. All rights reserved. Toggle navigation. Sign Up. Sign In. View the Study Pack. View the Lesson Plans. Plot Summary. Part I, I - IV. Part II, V - X. Free Quiz. Topics for Discussion. Print Word PDF. This section contains words approx. Themes Style Quotes. View a FREE sample. More summaries and resources for teaching or studying The Underdogs a Novel of the Mexican Revolution.
The Underdogs Reader’s Guide
Dessenoix Jean-Pierre. El ambiente campesino y su expresion en El llano en Hamas. Este hecho ha de haber influido sobre la escritura misma y sobre el ambiente de los cuentos en los que ningun personaje se caracteriza por su fanfarronerfa o su caracter arrojado. El nombre de Jalisco que evoca para muchos de los. Si algunos de estos pueden ser situados con alguna precision 'El llano en llamas' o 'La noche que lo dejaron solo', por ejemplo , otros al contrario presentan referencias cronologicas imprecisas 'Nos han dado la tierra' puede situarse en o en , puesto que la Reforma Agraria iniciada a rafz de la aplicacion de la Constitucion de se sigue aplicando en la actualidad, aunque sea con las restric- ciones evocadas en el relato de Rulfo. En el piano jurfdico se ha cumplido sin duda con los postulados de la Constitucion en materia agraria, pero en la practica los campesinos pertenecientes ; al sector de la agricultura tradicional y de subsistencia han seguido practi- camente tan marginados como antes.
The Underdogs a Novel of the Mexican Revolution Summary & Study Guide
Principia Press Trinity University new translation based on edition University of California Press translation based on the original version Penguin Based on edition. The Underdogs Spanish : Los de abajo is a novel by Mexican author Mariano Azuela which tells the story of a group of commoners who are dragged into the Mexican Revolution and the changes in their psyche due to living through the conflict. It is heavily influenced by the author's experiences during the revolution, where he participated as a medical officer for Pancho Villa 's Northern Division. The novel was the first of its kind to be translated into English, as part of a project sponsored by the Mexican Government and the Mexican Renaissance intellectual movement to promote Mexico as a literature-creating country. It had been previously well received by American critics like Earl K. James from the New York Times in  so the translation project went on and was released in by Brentanno's Books, at the time, the largest bookstore chain in the US.
The fiery idealism that has scorched the foundations of power now threatens to erupt into an inferno of anarchic rage, and the revolution that the common people had hailed as a blessing seems likely to transform into the blackest of curses. A dedicated foe of the privileged classes who dominated Mexico throughout his youth, Azuela had been stirred by the promise of radical political change that he saw in the Mexican revolution. Nevertheless, The Underdogs is neither a sentimental memoir nor a one-sided, political propagandistic tract. An uncompromising artist, Azuela eschewed such simplicity. Although the early chapters of his novel gleam with the idealism of a bold political cause, Azuela gradually blends darker tones into his literary palette.