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

2. What does Demetrio Macias' wife want him to do to the marauders?

3. How long has Luis Cervantes been fighting with the rebels?

4. Why are the rebels sorry to leave the village?

5. Where does Demetrio Macias sleep the night after he leaves home?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Demetrio Macias hate Don Monico?

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

3. How does the author describe the Sierra?

4. What does Luis Cervantes try to persuade Demetrio Macias to do as they approach the town where they are planning to attack the Federal soldiers?

5. Why does Quail object to Pancracio killing the Federal officer?

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

7. The author uses the words "gold" or "golden" several times in his description of the Sierra. What symbolism might there be in calling the calf they are preparing to eat "golden?"

8. How do the rebels refer to each other?

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

10. What kindness from a village girl impresses Demetrio Macias?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Using the information given in the foreword, write an essay explaining the progress of the revolution. What happened after the defeat of Huerta? Where does this story fit into the time line of the revolution? How much time is covered during this story?

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

How did Azuela acquire his knowledge about the revolution? Was he a primary or a secondary source of information, and what difference does it make? In your essay, take a position for or against the importance of first-hand knowledge in writing historical fiction.

(see the answer keys)

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