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. Who recognizes Luis Cervantes from his days with the Federal army?

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

3. How many battles has the leader of the Federal soldiers fought?

4. To whom does the young carpenter who has been conscripted into the army pray?

5. What does Camila want Luis Cervantes to teach her?

Short Essay Questions

1. How is Luis Cervantes greeted when he first comes to the rebel camp?

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

3. What does Luis Cervantes insist that the band should do when he learns that Huerta is preparing a final defense in Zacatecas?

4. Describe the character of Demetrio Macias' wife.

5. How do the rebels refer to each other?

6. What had offended Luis Cervantes during his time with the Federal army?

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 does Camila expect Luis Cervantes to react when she tells him that Demetrio Macias has been flirting with her?

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

10. Why does Luis Cervantes say he has come to join Demetrio Macias?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What do you think the author's purpose was in writing this story? Does it have relevance to readers almost a century later? If there is a moral to the story, what is it? In your essay, discuss what you believe the author's overarching reason for writing this book would be and whether it is of value today.

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

Margarito's self-hatred explodes when he shoots his own image in the mirror, and then later when he actually commits suicide. Are there other instances of foreshadowing in this story, when the conclusion of events is presaged by a symbolic or similar event? In your essay, show examples of foreshadowing in the plot of this story.

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