The Underdogs a Novel of the Mexican Revolution Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What news do the muleteers bring to the revolutionaries?

2. What does Luis Cervantes say Villa, Carranza, and Natera are all fighting against?

3. How does Luis Cervantes believe Madero rewarded the peasants who helped him gain power?

4. What does Luis Cervantes say Natera and Demetrio Macias will bring to their country?

5. What skill has made Demetrio Macias' men famous?

Short Essay Questions

1. Who are Serapio and Antonio?

2. Why does Luis Cervantes think that Demetrio Macias has run into the hills?

3. How does the author describe the Sierra?

4. How do the rebels refer to their opponents and why?

5. Why is Alberto Solis surprised to see Luis Cervantes in Zacatecas?

6. What does the shooting of the dog named "Palomo, the dove," symbolize?

7. How do the rebels refer to each other?

8. Why does Luis Cervantes begin to suspect that he has made another mistake?

9. Why does Demetrio Macias not want to take any of the women he admires into the towns they visit?

10. How does Luis Cervantes escape being shot to death by Demetrio Macias' men?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Very near the end of the story, a "poet" named Valderrama appears mysteriously and then disappears. In your essay, discuss this literary device. What brings Valderrama into the group of rebels? What causes him to leave? What purpose does he serve for the author?

Essay Topic 2

The meanings of different words in translation can greatly affect the connotations delivered. "Los de Abajo," the title of this book, for instance, literally means, "Those from Beneath." Is there a difference between that and "The Underdogs"? If so, what is it? "Huero," translated here as "Towhead," is also used for those who are light-skinned, not just those who are blond. "La Pintada" could be translated as "She Who Wears Makeup." Do different translations make a difference to the reader? Using the internet, look up such words as "curro" and "cacique." Are their translations useful? Easy to understand? Accurate? Why do you think the translator chose to leave those two words in Spanish? In your essay, discuss the importance of the translator in conveying the right understanding of the story.

Essay Topic 3

Palomo, the dove, is a significant symbol in this story, as is the rock that Demetrio Macias throws and then watches as it falls inexorably to the bottom. In your essay, discuss some of the symbols and what they represent.

(see the answer keys)

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