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Underdogs

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Submitted By gravity3
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To gain a solid understanding of how the novel,The Underdogs, ties in perfectly with the Mexican Revolution as well as shares many similar traits to revolutions in general; we must first identify what a revolution is.
A revolution can be defined as an overthrow or forceful replacement of an established government or political system by the people who are governed. Many, if not all revolutions share very similar characteristics. Typically a revolution will be created by a person or persons who share a similar belief about something in addition to each persons' individual reasons as to why they are fighting for that cause so passionately. As we go along, we will see that it is tough for many who support their revolution to continue with the same passion that they started with because there are so many factors needed in order for a revolution to be successful. The results of a successful revolution will usually include major changes in economy, culture, and political institutions. The Underdogs is a perfect example of a how a grass roots revolution can begin, but also shows the intricacies and dynamics that all play a part in what can occur throughout a movement. The Underdogs takes us from beginning to end of a particular revolution through the eyes of a man named Demetrio Macias. His journey began when Mexican Federales lead by Victoriano Huerta burned down Macias' house after visiting him previously, only to be turned away. For Macias, this is what sparks his initial cause for the revolution. He is known from previous fights during the Mexican Revolution to be an excellent marksman and a popular leader. From that time on Macias bands together a group for the cause but most are peasants who all have different reasons as to why they are there; however, most don't seem to have a lasting reason to see the revolution through. Though his group is "rag-tag" Macias does a remarkable job preparing them for their ambushes and keeping them highly motivated. Having a motivated and inspirational, fearless leader may be the single most important key to any revolution. This is portrayed in one scene in The Underdogs where his group of guerrilla fighters all shoot to kill at one time and nobody misses. It is obvious at this point that Macias has educated them well on the fundamentals of fighting, but later we see through Luis Cervantes (who is an educated medical student and journalist that joins the revolution because he is disgusted by his own government, "The Mexican Federales" and wants a change) that Macias lacks a full vision as to what he truly wants out of this revolution. He says Macias does not understand the importance of his role in the revolution. This could be stemming from the fact that his cause was just looking to find revenge or maybe it's the fact that he is not as educated as someone like Cervantes and doesn't know how to take the next step or reach the next level in their revolution. The realities of war and what this group has done (raping women, pillaging villages, hanging men) start to set in and many that started with that false bravado, including Macias, start to question their need to continue or further the revolution. Morale is low at this point and when they begin to realize they are taking on government forces who are armed to the teeth with machine guns, it gets a little bleaker. This can be relatable to the dynamics of revolutions as well because the rise of modern warfare is always something to consider if you are not the higher power. How do you stand a chance at that point other than to outnumber and overthrow? Later on you will see that Cervantes disbands from the group to follow his own journey as he too starts to feel like they are getting nothing accomplished and moves to El Paso. Although Luis Cervantes is clearly educated, it could be argued that he too lacks a certain trait needed to fulfill a successful revolution as he left the Federales for good reason, but also left the underdogs for a similar reason. We start to see how dynamic a revolution can be with people coming and going and the different reasons and causes for leaving and staying. You begin to understand just how much goes in and what enormous turning points have to occur in order for a revolution to be successful. Although it seemed these guys were doomed from the start as they were opposed to a well funded government regime. Macias relates their progress toward the end of the novel to that of throwing a pebble into a canyon as he feels like they have won some victories versus the Federales, but none that hold very significant weight. Mariano Azuela reveals in the novel The Underdogs, that while the Revolution in the book (and real life revolutions) can improve various conditions and rid itself of the negative inequalities viewed by the revolutionaries; it also can and will create new ones. So seems to be the case of history repeating itself. Every era seems to be revolution after revolution. Even in our country today you could consider electing a new president every 4-8 years to be a small, non-violent revolution. The Underdogs perfectly exemplifies what a basic revolution is and also gives insight into some of the down and dirty details of what can spark false bravado in people and what kind of motivation and passion is needed to fulfill a revolutions cause.

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