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Literature Comparison: The Great Gatsby and The Motorcycle Diaries

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 1903 words Published: 8th Jun 2017

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What it makes us unique, is our way of being; no one is equal to other, all of us are different in every single way, and this is the most important characteristic of the human beings, but sometimes our way of being is not the right one. There exist people that spend their lives thinking in the welfare of the rest but in the other hand there exist people that spend their lives thinking only about themselves. Examples of these two types of people are shown in the books The Motorcycle Diaries by Ernesto Che Guevara and The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

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The great Gatsby is a book that is developed by the 1920’s in the twentieth century and it is set in Long Island’s North Shore, the book is narrated by Nick, a man who lived next to a mysterious and rich man called Jay Gatsby, they lived in the west coast of Long Island the less popular one. Jay Gatsby was a young rich man with a turbulent past, he was not have a position in the society that surrounded him and nobody knew how he had obtained his fortune. Some people believed that he had gained his fortune with the illegal sale of alcohol they believed that Gatsby was a bootlegger, Anyway and despite the great parties that he organized for the people of Long Island, he was a lonely man, because he only wanted to revive the past in order to be with the love of his life Daisy, who was also cousin of Nick; nevertheless, Daisy was married with the millionaire Tom Buchanan with who had a three years old daughter, Pam, they lived in the east coast of Long Island the most popular one, they were different from Gatsby because they were rich from birth, and they had a place in the society of those years. When Gatsby met Daisy he was a soldier of the militia and he was not rich, when he came back from the military service he discovered that Daisy was married with Tom and he decided to spend his life trying to have money in order to give to daisy what she deserved. When Gatsby was younger he had a mentor Dan Cody who helped him to make his fortune as a result Gatsby became rich but lonely, he lived in a big mansion and he gave parties whit the only reason that he hopped that some day Daisy come to one of his parties, actually one day Gatsby decided to invite to one of his parties to Nick his neighbor, when nick received the invitation he was surprised and he decided to go but he did not know that Gatsby invited him with the only reason that he knew that he was cousin of his love interest; Daisy, in the party Gatsby met Nick and they became friends but this friendship to Gatsby had a purpose that was to join with Daisy again. Gatsby could achieve his purpose and he could join Daisy through Nick, and they started an affair and Gatsby could have what he wanted that was recover Daisy but when Tom discovered the affair of his wife with Gatsby, he asked them and Daisy recognized the affair but and she escaped with Gatsby in the car but in the road she hit Myrtle, the mistress of his husband, Tom, with the car and she killed her, and Gatsby in certainly way decided to do not tell anyone that Daisy killed Myrtle because he loved her but Daisy finally decided to stay with his husband because she was a woman of society and also she was very interesting in money and stability. Gatsby was not a bad man but he spent his life thinking in how to obtain what he wanted, he also did not think in the daughter of Daisy or what will happen with her if her mother escaped with him, he did not care about her and her husband he only was thinking in that he wanted to be with Daisy again, in fact, he spent a lot of money in those extravagant parties in which he did not participate he only watched through the windows of the house looking to the people that were in his there with the hope that Daisy arrived to at least one of his outrageous parties, he was thinking all the time in how to obtain what he wanted in order to be happy no matter how.

On the other hand the book The Motorcycle Diaries by Ernesto Che Guevara is a book of notes that Ernesto wrote during his trip with his friend Alberto Granada; Ernesto was a young medical student of medicine tired of school and excited to see the world and Alberto was working in a leprosy hospital in Argentina’s Córdoba Province, and because of this he and his friend decided to do a trek through South America in an old motorcycle called “the mighty one” (la poderosa). The trip took eight months, the travel started in Córdoba and they left Argentina to go to Chile, they arrived in this country in Osorno passing through all the country to leave it to go to Perú they leave this country and then they went to Colombia and finally Venezuela however they could not finish the trip in the motorcycle because they had to leave it in Santiago, Chile because the mighty one did not work any more. This book shows the trip of these two young men by the perspective of Ernesto, he wrote all the adventures and things that they did, and saw during their trek through South America. Guevara’s political consciousness began to stir in this trip as he and Alberto moved into the mining country, Chile. They visited Chuquicamata copper mine, the world’s largest open-pit mine and the primary source of Chile’s wealth in those years. It was run by U.S. mining monopolies and viewed by many as a symbol of foreign domination, and also to Ernesto was a symbol of human exploitation. During the trip Guevara also could apply his knowledge in medicine because he helped people that needed it for example in Chile he helped an old woman that was dying, he knew that he could not save the life of this woman, but he could stop the pain for a moment. Passages like this, change the mind of Ernesto because during the trip he could see that there existed and exist needed people not only in South America but all over the world.

“His political and social awakening has very much to do with this face-to-face contact with poverty, exploitation, illness, and suffering,” [Internet reference: www.nationalgeographic.com]

Guevara was a good man that changes his mind with this trip and after it he decided to star his career as a politician and help people, he decided this because of what the saw during this trip, for them all what they were seeing was in a certain way new because in Argentina they did not see aborigines for example, one thing that capture the attention of Ernesto and Alberto was the situation when they were traveling through Perú and an Indian with his son who spoke Spanish approached them and asked them all about the “land of Perón”, for the natives, these two young men came from a wonderful country where people could work and have a good pay for it, a developed country. Ernesto was very impressed by the old Inca civilization, riding trucks with the Natives and animals he felt a fraternity with the native people. Ernesto was a good man always worries for the rest, it is obvious why he was studying medicine, and it was during the trip that he made with his friend Alberto Granadas

Jay Gatsby and Ernesto Guevara were two young men very different in what they wanted or their purposes in life, I think that these two men were not bad men specially Ernesto who spent his life in order to defend the rights of people. I believe that there not exist so many people that think like Ernesto but in the other hand there many people that think like the Great Gatsby, because most of people spend their lives thinking in how to obtain what they want, I think this is not bad but there are people that do not think in nothing else that how to get what they want and this people sometimes sin of selfish because they do not care if they make some damage to other people in order to have what they want to be happy. One phrase that represents what Ernesto felt after his trip is one that he wrote in his diary that says:

“I will be on the side of the people … I will take to the barricades and the trenches, screaming as one possessed, will stain my weapons with blood, and, mad with rage, will cut the throat of any vanquished foe I encounter,”[Guevara, 2004 ]

Many historians believe that this trip was the most important thing in the life of Ernesto that changes his mind to after be one of the most famous guerilla leaders in history, but nevertheless he was a person that was care about the rest all the time.

On the other hand Jay Gatsby was not a bad person but he was always thinking how to obtain what he wanted that it was be with Daisy, in the sixth chapter of the book Nick narrated:

He wanted nothing less of Daisy than that she should go to Tom and say: “I never loved you.” After she had obliterated four years with that sentence they could decide upon the more practical measures to be taken. One of them was that, after she was free, they were to go back to Louisville and be married from her house – just as if it were five years ago… “I’m going to fix everything just the way it was before,” he said, nodding determinedly. “She’ll see.”[Fitzgerald 1925:54]

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He was so stubborn in be with her that he did not realize that he could damage other persons, for example Myrtle; she died because Daisy and Gatsby were running away from Tom, and even Gatsby died because of this. He died because of his obsession with Daisy because of his obsession in getting what he wanted. Gatsby was killed by Myrtle’s husband because Tom told him that Gatsby hit Myrtle with the car, also in Gatsby’s funeral there were only three people; Nick, Gatsby’s father and the person that was guiding the funeral although Gatsby always gave partied to everyone none of these people came to his funeral he was alone also when he died. I think that is not bad fight for what you want but sometimes be too obsessive with something is not good because everything can go wrong. Gatsby was so obsessive with Daisy and all what he wanted that he forgot to live a real life and make real friends.

As a conclusion it could be say that not all the people think or have the same personality, all of us have different expectations in life, everybody want different things in order to be happy a clear example was shown here with these two characters Jay Gatsby and Ernesto Guevara; the first one thought that what he needed in order to be happy was be with his old love Daisy, Gatsby was doing what most of the people do that is look for his own happiness and the second character; Guevara, believed that what he really want to do in his life was fight for the rights of the people he was looking for the happiness of the rest, this is the biggest difference of these two young men nonetheless it could be said that none of these two was wrong Gatsby wanted what all want to be happy and Guevara was like few people are that is see and be worry about what the rest need or what are the rights of the rest, however both died Gatsby died because of his obsession with Daisy and Guevara died because he was always fighting for the rights of the people who needed, he was so obsessed with this that he nowadays is seen as one of the most iconic characters of the twentieth century, he was one of the most famous guerrilla leaders of history but despite that he died.


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