Saturday, May 19, 2007

I, Rigoberta Menchú: The Convergence

When reading I, Rigoberta Menchú, Milton, Rousseau, Babeuf, Donnelly, Marx and Engels, Babel, Malraux, Orwell, and Azuela, converge. I, Rigoberta Menchú, in part, “reinforce” the ideologies of:

Karl Marx and Frederick Engels:

“Capitalists (the bourgeois), are owners of property, the means of production, and the exploiters of the working class, and the proletariats are the wage-laborers reduced to selling their labor in order to live.”

Ignatius Donnelly, Marx, and George Orwell:

Society’s ruling class (property owners), create an “underworld,” creating a “domain of the poor,” and that all property owners should be abolished.”

John Milton “The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates”:

Dismantles the divinity of the power structure and defines their role as merely “deputies of the people,” and therefore, not above reproach. They are to be challenged politically, morally, philosophically, and legally. And that the power structure is expected to act and serve for the common good of all the people.

Gracchus Babeuf, “Liberty, Equality, Freedom”:

The inequities and violation of human rights is just cause for social revolution, and that the deceitful acts of these institutions give rise to the mental and physical forces that necessitate change by community members.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s “Social Contract” provides the foundation for Babuef:

By combining these forces (creating a collective force), men can achieve and maintain true morality within a continuum of self-governing laws.

The events detailed further in the reading: Rigoberta learns that her father was burned to death; Rigoberta is forced to watch the burning of her brother (still alive after the soldiers mutilated his body); she is told that her mother was tortured to death; and when Rigoberta was pursued by the authorities -- Maximilian, Ch’en, Katov, Kyo, and Demetrio surface.

I, Rigoberta Menchú’s political, social, economic, and psychological landscapes unite the aforementioned ideologies that were studied in this course.

Thank you,


Sunday, May 13, 2007

The Underdogs: The Novel of the Mexican Revolution

On the Surface: The Transformation or Revelation of Demetrio Macias, Part III

Demetrio Macías Revealed


“Are you tired of the revolution?”

Captain Solis:

“ ‘Tired? But am I disappointed? Perhaps!...I’d hope to find a meadow at the end of the road…and I found a swamp. My friend, there are facts and there are men that are pure poison…And that poison drips into your soul and turns everything bitter. Enthusiasm, hopes, ideals, joys…all comes to naugnt…. Then you have no other choice: either you turn into bandit just like them; or you disappear, hiding behind a mask of the most ferocious and impenetrable egotism’ ” (63-64).


“ ‘In this same sierra with just twenty men I killed five hundred Federals.’ ”

“As Demetrio begins to tell that famous exploit, the men realize the danger they are facing. When did Demetrio Macias’s men ever say ‘we wont’t go there?’ (149-150).

Outnumbered, his new recruits have retreated, and his loyal comrades fallen, Demetrio, unyielding and alone, is shielded by his “ferocious and impenetrable egotism” in his concluding pursuit.


The Underdogs: The Novel of the Mexican Revolution

On the Surface: The Transformation or Revelation of Demetrio Macías as, Part II

“The Matrix Reloaded:”

- Luis Cervantes, the bourgeoisie:

“You still don’t realize your true, lofty, noble mission. You are a modest man without ambitions, you do not wish to realize the exceedingly important role you are destined to play in the revolution. It’s not true that you took up arms simply because of Don Mónico, the cacique. You rose up to protest against the evils of all the caciques who are ruining the whole nation” (Cervantes to Demetrio, 44).

- Guero Margarito, captain in the Northern Division:

“ ‘Hey, waiter,’ ” Güero Margarito cried, “ ‘I ordered ice water…. And I’m not begging for it, either, see? Look at this wad of bills; I’ll buy you and…your old woman, understand? I don’t care if it ran out or why it ran out…It’s up to you to find some way to get it. I tell you, I don’t want excuses, I want my ice water. Are you bringing it, or not? No?...Well, take this…’ ”

“A heavy blow sent the waiter reeling to the floor.”

“ ‘That’s just the way I am, General Macías’ ” (81-82).

Pintada, the female revolutionary and companion to Margarito:

“ ‘What stupid fools,’ ” said Pintada, convulsed with laughter. “ ‘Where the hell are you from? Soldiers don’t sleep in hotels and inns anymore. Where do you come from? You just go anywhere you like and pick a house that pleases you, and you take without asking any one for permission. Who’s the revolution for, anyhow? For the rich folks? We’re the fancy ones now... (83).

Demetrio, now General Demetrio, must process and assimilate current stratagems with the “urbane Cervantes" and the opposing perspectives that redefine the private revolution.


The Underdogs: In Response to Professor Hanley (Continued)

“We looked. Yes, thank heaven! it was the signal. The Demon rose like a great hawk to a considerable height, floated around for awhile in space, and then slowly descended” (Caesar’s Column, 221).

“It was a heavenly morning. It had rained all night, and the sky dawned covered with a canopy of white clouds. Young, wild colts trotted on the summit of the sierra, with streaming manes and outstretched tails, graceful as the elegant peaks that lift their heads to kiss the clouds” (The Underdogs, 149).

Auzela’s descriptive imagery is fused with beauty, physicality, appealing characters, and masculinity. The reader’s sensory perception and imagination are on overdrive. Azuela’s revolutionary imagination is one of compassion, loyalty, individual conflict, and sensuality. Comparatively, abrasive characters, acidic dialogue, and desolate towns and villages, occupied by traumatized and despairing residents, define Babel’s revolution. Similarly, Donnelly’s revolution is an illustration of corrupt power, hopelessness, and despair remedied only by an escape to his “utopian” colony. The emotional tensions and individual conflicts become physical descriptions for Malraux’s revolutionaries in Man’s Fate. Satan, in Milton’s Paradise Lost, is a revolution. And Orwell’s revolution can be read as a definitive description and illustration of the modern work place.


The Underdogs: The Novel of the Mexican Revolution

On the Surface: The Transformation or Revelation of Demetrio Macías, Part I

“Tall and well built, with a sanguine, beardless face, he wore shirt and trousers of white cloth, a broad-brimmed straw hat, and leather sandals.

“With slow, measured step, he left the room, vanishing into the impenetrable darkness of the night” (3-4).

Demetrio Macías, Mariano Azuela’s uncomplicated and uncompromising revolutionary -- initially. Husband, father, fugitive, and leader of a small band of rebels, fighting for land reform during the Mexican Revolution of 1910. His objective: to annihilate the Federals and create havoc for the bourgeoisie.


Sunday, May 6, 2007

The Underdogs: In Response to Professor Hanley

“We crossed the river and entered deeper into the petit-bourgeois settlement. We were nearing the priest’s house when Afonka suddenly came riding around the corner on a large stallion.”

“ ‘Greetings,’ he called out in a barking voice, and, pushing the fighters apart, took his old position in the ranks” (Red Calvary, 121).
(To be continued)


The Underdogs: The Novel of the Mexican Revolution

The Transformation of Demetrio Macías, Part I
(To be continued)