The Motorcycle Diaries By Che' Guevara

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Significant discoveries often challenge an individual’s perceptions and ideas. This fosters a unique lens of perspective which can lead to renewed and intensely meaningful understandings of ourselves and the world around us.

Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara’s bildungsroman memoir ‘The Motorcycle Diaries’ (1995) details his travels through impoverished Latin America with comrade Alberto Granado, which subsequently altered his perspective of the lower class proletariat. In the process accentuating that the catalyst for ideological discoveries, is the exposure to different contexts. Likewise, in pondering upon his childhood tendency to wander from home, the protagonist in Philip Nikolayev’s retrospective poem ‘Tendency Toward Vagrancy’(2006) uncovers emotional
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At the ‘local flea market, which was not at all safe to do’ the boys discover a man selling guns. This surprising experience morphs a jovial trip into a dangerous encounter. The shift in tone in the poem metamorphic of the poet’s growing knowledge of his isolation within a society and home of poverty; ‘no bathroom or running water’, violence ‘she will scold me later’ and in which there is no place for his harmless childhood ‘tendency to wander’. This surprising and transformative understanding is heightened in the repetition of his ‘crying mother set against the sunset. The symbolic close-of-day, reveling with regrets, acts as a reminder of the child’s captivity for the adult speaker. The final stanza unmistakably portrays the speaker’s emotional discoveries as he acknowledges to not understanding ‘back then’ and ‘how alienated one can be from the the greatest paradox of all, a happy Soviet Childhood’. The reflective tone accentuates that through the process of reflection an individual can obtain a fresh and renewed perception of the world. This consequently leads to emotional discoveries in a more mature perspective of his behaviour as a child, in coming to terms that his ‘tendency toward vagrancy’ was ‘not simply a diagnosis of otherness’ or cultivated by ‘Soviet psychiatrists’, but stemmed in the ‘alienation’ he experienced in his impoverished childhood, highlighting how through reflecting on past experiences serendipitous discoveries may be
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