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

The characters in The Underdogs represent the different purposes of those who fought in the Mexican Revolution. Demetrio Macías fights primarily for survival, Luis Cervantes out of ideological commitment, and War Paint for financial gain.

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The motivations of the characters in The Underdogs reflect the diversity of purposes behind those who took part in the Mexican Revolution. The novel was written while the revolution was still in progress, and reflects the chaos of the long struggle between various factions. While Emiliano Zapata was an ideological socialist, Pancho Villa was more pragmatic, fighting for personal loyalties and survival. It is in Villa's army that the protagonist, Demetrio Macías, rises to become a general. Even as a leader, however, Demetrio has no particular ideological commitment to the revolution. He confesses to Luis Cervantes that he does not understand politics, and he only joined the rebel army out of necessity in the first place.

Despite his lack of a political or ideological purpose, Demetrio is initially an inspiring leader, because there is a dignity in his courage and loyalty. There is a clear sense in which he is the purpose he does not understand, a peasant who wants to be able to live a decent...

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on November 16, 2020