This study focuses on the symbolic meanings of the axolotl in Juan Villoro's novel 'Materia dispuesta' and the way the author approaches the concept of identity from both the adolescent protagonist and Mexicans in general. This novel will be read in light of Roger Bartra's essay, 'La jaula de la melancolía'. Bartra uses the metaphor of the axolotl to analyse the concept of metamorphosis in the Mexican identity. Thereafter, Villoro's novel will be compared with Julio Cortazar's short story, “Axolotl", and Octavio Paz's poem “Salamandra". This comparison will allow to amplify the perspective and deepen the analysis of this hybrid animal by Villoro. The study of the axolotl demonstrates that Villoro revives the ancient aztec mythology about this amphibian, that was the representation of the god Xolotl, and that he introduces at the same time new meanings. It is in that combination of both perspectives that the richness of Villoro's literary universe will be revealed.