In Mariano Azuela's The Underdogs, what was the purpose of the Mexican Revolution based on the characters' experiences?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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One of the brilliant aspects of this text is the way in which the supposedly pure ideal of the revolution is shown in its reality as the revolutionaries engage in more and more random and meaningless acts of violence. This demonstrates the understanding and view that Demetrio and the other revolutionaries have of human life. What starts off as a cause that is carried out against Federal troops and what they stand for quickly descends into something much more primitive brutal and disturbing.

Azuela seems to use this to point out the way in which fighting for a supposed "cause," such as an independent Mexico, actually serves as a front or a guise for the ability to express more primitive and base emotions. Note the way in which the so-called "heroes" of the revolution who outwardly state they are fighting for their country slowly begin to kill without rhyme or reason. Initially, the murders they commit are justified, but later on, all attempts of trying to justify their actions are abandoned. For example, Blondie ties a rope around a dead soldier's neck and drags it behind his horse and a priest is executed for the crime of wearing city clothes. As the novel continues, each act of violence becomes more and more meaningless, showing that the cause of the revolution only serves as a "front" to demonstrate the true brutal nature of man.


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