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. Why does Senora Remigia have little food for Demetrio Macias' men?

2. What do the rebels take from the soldiers?

3. Where did the Federal lieutenant meet Demetrio Macias?

4. How did his men make a stretcher for the wounded Demetrio Macias?

5. What is the first cure the neighborhood women use for Demetrio Macias' fever?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why doesn't War Paint's plan to rescue Camila from Demetrio Macias succeed?

2. What dream of Venancio's is quashed by Luis Cervantes?

3. Why does the poet Valderrama disappear from Demetrio Macias' group?

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

5. Why does Demetrio Macias order Quail to steal a priest's cassock?

6. Why do the rebels feel justified in stealing goods from private homes and people?

7. What does Luis Cervantes suggest that they do with their stolen money?

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

9. 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?

10. How does Luis Cervantes react when Camila tells him that Demetrio Macias has been flirting with her?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

This book is notable for the amount of information given in the foreword, introduction, chronology of the revolution, chronology of Azuela's life, and notes at the end. In your essay, discuss the importance of this supplemental information. Why was so much included? What help does it provide a reader?

Essay Topic 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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