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destination: self
character analysis of ernesto
by carrie deahl

Ernesto "Che" Guevara sets out with his best friend Alberto Granado on an 8,000 meter journey aboard "The Mighty One" across South America in The Motorcycle Diaries. At the beginning of their epic journey, Che is an optimistic 23-year-old medical student. He believes his life purpose is to become a doctor. However, his sense of adventure, along with some of Alberto's persuasive tactics, take him on a journey that becomes more than a vacation--one of self-discovery.

More than anything else, Che wants to help people. As he and Alberto delve deeper into South America, Che discovers that the people they encounter suffer from extreme poverty, no healthcare, and governments who have left them to fend for themselves. Despite these horrible odds, these complete strangers of Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, and Chile are hospitable to Che and his comrade, Alberto. Che is deeply moved by their kindness, by their stories, by their need to have a "voice" in countries where oppression runs more rampant than cleanliness. He understands their suffering, as he, too, suffers, but from asthma, not apathetic, irresponsible governments. As he writes in his diary several times throughout his travels, Che discovers a change taking place within his very core.

While Che and Alberto offer medical care to these strangers, he soon realizes that being a doctor is not enough. In the Leper Colony, he refuses to wear a mask or gloves as the nuns and other doctors do. He even spends his free time with his patients playing football, listens to their stories, and earns their love and respect.

In a world where oppression breeds ignorance, Che's travels lead him to a place he never expected--a changed man.


Writer. Reader. Teacher. Consultant. Activist. Takes life and herself a little too seriously. Relishes moments of humility. Believes peace is possible through education. Believes writing is the way to freedom. Unleashes the written word daily.

more about carrie deahl


by carrie deahl
topic: writing
published: 11.16.08

by carrie deahl
topic: writing
published: 1.9.09


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