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Comparison of Friendships in 'The Great Gatsby' and 'The Motorcycle Diaries'

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 1828 words Published: 9th Sep 2021

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Establishing relationships of friendship is one of the innate qualities of people as rational human beings, the need to communicate, be social and discuss those issues or concerns that affect our lives and share what you cannot share with just anyone. A friend should be someone who can be trusted, someone whose intentions are the best for you. According To the RAE “Real academia de la lengua Españoña” friendship is “personal affection, pure and disinterested, shared with another person and is strengthened by confidence and careness” (RAE, 2010). A friend is someone who is willing to listen, console, give you support and be with you weather you feel happy or miserable.

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In this essay I will compare the relations of friendship presented in books, The Great Gatsby and The motorcycle Diaries. First, from The Great Gatsby we have Nick Carraway and Jay Gatsby; on the other hand, in the book The Motorcycle Diaries we have Ernesto Guevara de la Serna and Alberto Granado. To make a comparison between the two texts we must establish a correlation between them, friendship as a common theme in both books between the main characters of the novel.

The Great Gatsby is a novel written by Fitzgerald during the 20s. The text is about love and American dreams, which are fame, richness, and power. However, the issue that matters is the friendship that arises between Nick Carraway and Jay Gatsby. To begin with, we must take into account that we are talking about people who are completely different and come from totally different worlds. First, Nick Carraway is a thoughtful person, quiet, tolerant, open mind who has a kind personality. He came from Minnesota Because he wanted to work in the bound business, so he Rented a house next to Gatsby’s mansion in West Egg and traveled to New York. At the beginning of the book Nick said “I’m inclined to reserve all Judgments, a habit that has opened up many curious natures to me and made me the victim also of not a few veteran bores.” (Fitzgerald, 1925:3). On the Other Hand, Jay Gatsby Grew up in North Dakota, he was a very poor man, but wanted to be rich because he was in love with Daisy, a girl who belongs to the high society. He has one purpose in his life which is to obtain Daisy’s love back. He became then a rich Man, known for holding parties to people who he did not know.

The friendship between Nick and Gatsby, from their roots does not mean anything, they did not share much with each other, rather Nick would spend his time with Tom Buchanan, Daisy’s husband, he knew his adventures with Myrtle and accompanied him on his meetings with her lover . The relationship between Nick and Gatsby began to increase when they begin to spend more time together, to share their concerns and dreams. Nick knew the story of Gatsby with Daisy, helping them on what he could so they could be together; however, Daisy chose the life she had with her husband. Nick thought that Jay’s life was filled with empty and unfulfilled dreams, and despite the sadness of having been surrounded by so many people throughout his life, he was left all alone. Only Nick, some servants, Henry Gatz his father accompanied him on his funeral. In that moment we can realized about how many people was really close friend of him, and I can say that nobody was in his funeral.

“Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter-tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther…

And one fine morning– so we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” (Fitzgerald, 1925:193)

In the novel “The Great Gatsby” we can also find other types of Friendship, between Daisy Buchanan and Jordan Baker for instance, a true friendship that lasted for years.

“The Motorcycle Diaries” is a book written by Ernesto Che Guevara, friendship here is shown by Ernesto Guevara de la Serna, a boy who is studying medicine at the University of Buenos Aires and Alberto Granado, who is a biochemist who specializes in leprology. The book focuses on the adventures of these characters that will travel across Latin America on a motorcycle, the plan is simple, and they wanted to know about different medical realities that will help them to grow in their professional development. Their relationship is strengthened during the trip because they share day and night, together they face the adversities encountered along the way, well not only to accompany but at the same time take care of each other when anyone suffers a disease, for example, when Ernest had fever and had to go to a doctor friend of Albert, who advised him to rest.

“Alberto photographed me in the hospital gear. I made an impressive spectacle: gaunt, flushed, enormous eyes and a ridiculous beard whose shape did not change much in all the months I wore it. It is a pity the photograph was not a good one; it was an acknowledgment of our changed circumstances and of the horizons we were seeking, free at last from “civilization”.” (Guevara, 2003:41).

Their friendship was complemented in such a way that they supported one another in each of the experiences along the journey. Getting to know different places, different people with different realities makes them reflect, makes them think about what is happening in the world, political injustices that are committed to certain people or certain social groups. During the trip, Ernesto thinks, “I now know, by an almost fatalistic conformity with the facts that my destiny is to travel, or perhaps it is better to say that travelling is our destiny, because Alberto is the same as me. Still, there are moments when I think with profound longing of those wonderful areas in our south. Perhaps one day, tired of circling the world,

I will return to Argentina and settle in the Andean lakes, if not indefinitely then at least for a pause while I shift from one understanding of the world to another” (Guevara, 2003:45)

During his trip, Ernesto and Alberto met people who were very friendly with them, offering them food, a place to spend cold nights, water, their beloved mates, etc.., despite their economic status.

Ernesto and Alberto traveled to Peru, where they worked with people with leprosy (a specialty of Alberto), doctors and patients were separated by a river. In that place the doctors discriminated against the sick, but Ernesto and Alberto began to treat them like normal people, which brought great happiness and peace for themselves and for doctors of place.

It is difficult to define the concept of friendship due to the fact that this is not something static and regularized; which tell us how we have to act in front of a friend in certain circumstances, on the contrary, all depends of each person, he knows how he has to act and the values that he has to have, I mean, he has to be loyal, he has to be sincere and, also he has to be reliable. Those qualities are very important in friend’s relation; those characteristics are present in the books read. From the read books I can infer that the friendship has been tackled from diverse perspectives, in “The Great Gatsby”, friendship is a little forced due to the fact that Nick feels pity because of his situation he (Gatsby) was living, both of them have something in common; lonely. This made them to be closer each other, besides they could share their problems, feelings and many other things, which made the closer friends. “The Motorcycle Diaries”, show us an old friendship, which grow up and turn stronger each day during the trip that they decided to undertake. Because of these things, I can infer that the characters (Nick and Alberto) have the mission to support to Gatsby and Ernesto in their lives, helping, and advising them when they need it such as a real friend does in the real life.

In the final pages of this book Ernesto said the following:

“The terrible thing is, the people need to be educated, and this they cannot do before taking power, only after. They can only learn at the cost of their own mistakes, which will be very serious and will cost many innocent lives. Or perhaps not, maybe those lives will not have been innocent because they will have committed the huge sin against nature; meaning, a lack of ability to adapt. All of them, those unable to adapt – you and I, for example – will die cursing the power of they helped, through great sacrifice, to create. Revolution is impersonal; it will take their lives, even utilizing their memory as an example or as an instrument for domesticating the youth who follow them. My sin is greater because I, more astute and with greater experience, call it what you like, will die knowing that my sacrifice stems only from an inflexibility symbolizing our rotten civilization, which is crumbling. I also know – and this ill not alter the course of history or your personal view of me – that you will die with a clenched fist and a tense jaw, the epitome of hatred and struggle, because you are not a symbol but a genuine member of the society to be destroyed; the spirit of the beehive speaks through your mouth and motivates your actions. You are as useful as I am, but you are not aware of how useful your contribution is to the society that sacrificed you” (Guevara, 2003: 164)

Guevara changed his mentality during the trip, the poverty and the injustice that the government had with people revolutionized his mind.

To conclude the comparison between “The Great Gatsby” and “The Motorcycle Diaries” is necessary to mention that there are many things in common between them, not only the theme of friendship is insert of it, also we can find themes related to love, related to adventure, also related to historical context and there are many topics to discuss in both books. The friendship is an innate quality in human beings and it is present in our entire lives. The friendship between Nick and Gatsby is a little forced because nick feels pity because of his situation; they become friends since they feel alone. So they joined each other and they began to trust in them.

“The Motorcycle Diaries”, is a book which told the adventures of two closer friends, they are Ernesto and Alberto, who are joined by similar thoughts.

Friends are people who help us in the most difficult moments that we have, also they are people who love us and are about us. They do not need to be called when you are sad because they always are worried about you. In the happy days they are the most fascinated company. Nowadays the real friendship is really difficult to find it, so if you found it do not damage that person because friends are lovely and they will go along with us during a long time.


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