AZUELA THE UNDERDOGS PDF

Mariano Azuela, the first of the "novelists of the Revolution," was born in Lagos de Moreno, Jalisco, Mexico, in He studied medicine in Guadalajara and returned to Lagos in , where he began the practice of his profession. He began his writing career early; in he published Impressions of a Student in a weekly of Mexico City. This was followed by numerous sketches and short stories, and in by his first novel, Andres Perez, maderista. Like most of the young Liberals, he supported Francisco I.

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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.

As a boy, during summers spent at a small farm owned by his father, he learned the slang and vocal rhythms of the common people—effects he was later to reproduce in his fiction.

Although he enrolled in a Catholic seminary at fourteen, Azuela soon abandoned his religious studies and, after a brief period of indecision, became a medical student at the University of Guadalajara. After becoming a doctor in , Azuela divided his energies between medical practice and writing. The publication of his novel Los Fracasados The Failures identified him as a novelist of promise. Azuela, who sided with the Maderistas, briefly served the Madero regime as chief of political affairs in Lagos de Moreno.

However, in , in the counterrevolution led by Victoriano Huerta, Madero was assassinated and Azuela joined the rebel forces of Pancho Villa. Forced to immigrate to El Paso, Texas, Azuela settled there and reworked his memories of the revolution into a novel, Los de Abajo , known to English-speaking readers as The Underdogs.

In , Azuela moved to Mexico City, where he continued to write and practice medicine for the rest of his life. Initially slow to win a popular following, The Underdogs captured international critical acclaim in the mids, establishing Azuela as the preeminent novelist of the Mexican Revolution. He died in Do these traits remain consistent throughout the novel? Do you prefer seeing the names translated or untranslated?

Does his building up of their legend detract from the realism of the novel? Does Azuela do enough to represent the position of women in Mexican society and in the revolution?

What, if anything, would you have done differently to tell this aspect of the story? What do they gain from each other? Does each have something to teach that the other is incapable of learning? What, if anything, is lacking in their friendship?

It is a principal irony of The Underdogs that the revolutionaries who set out to rid their country of oppression and injustice end up adopting the corrupt values and practices of their enemies.

Why does this happen? Does Azuela regard the betrayal of the revolution as inevitable, or does he see an alternative? Imagine that you are directing a film version of The Underdogs. What scene would you find most interesting to dramatize, and why? How would you shoot the scene? Is he to be praised for abandoning a cause he could no longer morally support, or is he to be condemned for leaving his comrades in a desperate time? What are the qualities of this image that make it effective and memorable?

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The Underdogs

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.

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Los de abajo

Look Inside Reading Guide. Reading Guide. The greatest novel of the Mexican Revolution, in a brilliant new translation by an award-winning translator The Underdogs is the first great novel about the first great revolution of the twentieth century. Demetrio Macias, a poor, illiterate Indian, must join the rebels to save his family. He studied medicine in Guadalajara and returned to Lagos in ,where he began the practice of his profession.

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