The Novels - Essay Example

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The Underdogs, an epic novel cum revolutionary testimonial, continues to enthrall & mesmerize its readers since the time it was created by the maverick Mexican author Mariano Azuela who served as a doctor by profession. Written in 1915, the novel travelogues through the…
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The Underdogs The Underdogs, an epic novel cum revolutionary testimonial, continues to enthrall & mesmerize its readers since the time it was created by the maverick Mexican author Mariano Azuela who served as a doctor by profession. Written in 1915, the novel travelogues through the turbulent times of the Mexican revolution, & represents a literary creation par excellence. The lucid language, the bold characters, & the strong moral connotations form the crux of this enigmatic work piece (Azuela, 15-25).
The period in the Mexican revolution witnessed a dearth & scarcity on the nation’s cultural front. But The Underdogs was the one & only exception. The reader experiences Azuela’s heartbeat & his emotional pathos while reading this mind boggling work of fiction. The novel is highly pragmatic as it depicts the misery of a war ravaged Mexico, while concentrating on the pivotal character of ‘Demetrio Macias’. Azuela attempts to scrutinize the traits of the revolution as a magnamous social event & an unstoppable force which is so strong that it drags all the folks around it within its gravitational order-defining the actions of each of the characters. The novel as per its subtitle represents a chronology of ‘pictures of the revolution’ that displays its force & human qualities, as they shattered the age old static character of the Mexican social infrastructure. The dynamism & the influential idiosyncrasies of the lead character Demetrio motivated large numbers of dreamy individuals who pondered over the idea of an egalitarian social structure post revolution (Azuela, 15-25). But unfortunately, all the dreams were not destined to become true. The aftermath of Mexican revolution was equally sordid. Gross disruptions, anarchy, & statelessness became the order of the day. Several novels were framed on the morbid atmosphere of the post revolutionary era, which contradicted the very ‘idealistic approach’ of Azuela. Nevertheless, Underdogs can be estimated as a burning memento of the revolutionary history of Mexico (Azuela, 18-29).
It can be easily concluded that Azuela was statistically the first Mexican novelist who grasped the ‘reality of the revolution’. The distinguishing characteristic of Underdogs is that reality & fiction comes together as an inseparable force to cast away the reader. The naturalistic fatalism in this novel remains as an intoxicating quotient. The protagonist Demetrio Macias is coerced into the revolution as a means of defending his own existence. He ends his life story where it began, ambushed at the sight of his foremost conquest. When his wife asks him why he keeps skirmishing, he answers, tossing a pebble into an abyss: “look at that stone, how it keeps going” (Azuela, 190). To evaluate this novel, the reader must ponder the uses of fiction for history, & the relationship fiction to history (Azuela, 55-63).
The Alienist
This fascinating, spine chilling thriller novel engraved by acclaimed writer Caleb Carr intoxicates the reader till the very end. Based on the notion of psychological distraughtness & sequential butchery, this novel embarks on a dark mystifying journey which engrosses the most nihilists of readers by unfolding “a series of events that still seems too bizarre to have occurred even in this city” (Carr, 2). This book was first published in 1994 & acquired cult status within a remarkably brief period (Carr, 10-19). Caleb Carr was born in Manhattan in 1955 & lived majorly on the Lower East Side of the city. He graduated from New York University, securing a B.A. in military & diplomatic history. Carr presently resides in a farm estate named ‘Misery Mountain’ in the town of Berlin, New York.
The Alienist is basically a psychological thriller set in the late 19th century New York City. The Angel of Darkness is the sequel to The Alienist. There are seven main characters in this book with a single female character named Sara Howard. The protagonist of the novel is Dr. Laszlo Kreisler, an eminent psychologist, who leads the investigative team. The book intertwines fiction with history on a subtle parameter (Carr, 11-30). The plot centers on the murders of adolescent boys in New York City, reflecting the true crime stories of the nineteenth century with vivid pictures in the story. The author connects the fiction to the modern context and the darkness from which the Americans are still running away – “running just as fast and fearfully” (Carr, 6).
1) Azuela, Mariano, The Underdogs. With Related Texts. Pellon translation, Indianapolis, Hackett Publishing, 2006.
2) Carr, Caleb, The Alienist, Bantam, 1995. Read More
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