Social Inequity In “The Motorcycle Diaries” And “The Great Gatsby”

1016 words - 5 pages

Analyzing the different themes addressed in the books “The Motorcycle Diaries” written by Ernesto Guevara de la Serna, and “The Great Gatsby” written by Francis Scott Fitzgerald it is possible to find some topics in common, such as, the social inequity portrayed in both books. Although this social inequity is stronger and clearer in “The motorcycle Diaries”, it is also represented in some way in “The Great Gatsby” due to a marked stratification of people portrayed in the plot of this story. In the following lines, it will be analyzed how this social inequity is portrayed in such different books.

On the one hand, in Ernesto Guevara’s diary social injustice is easily detected, and portrayed in a quite moving way, both through some key incidents that were responsible for Ernesto’s new understanding of the world, and Ernesto’s words when narrating his own reflections about these episodes. Firstly, when Ernesto went to visit the sick old woman in Valparaiso, who suffered asthma and a heart condition, is a situation that gives a clear view of the poor reality that some people had to face everyday because they did not have even the minimum conditions to survive with dignity, and on top of that, the sadness of people turned themselves into a nuisance for their family just for the fact of being sick. Secondly, Ernesto’s encounter with the couple of communist workers harassed by their political ideas in Baquedano, who did not have a single blanket to protect themselves from the freezing cold of the desert night, enable us to see, as Ernesto wrote, the representation of the proletariat of the world. Moreover, this couple showed him the ruthless reality of so many people in Chile who were pursued, tortured and disappeared for their convictions, and who trying to avoid this fate had to go through so much misery and suffering. They were just one more proof of the dominant social injustice of the poor working class. And thirdly, the incident with the bull in Peru, which was being hurt in the eye by another’s bull horn, and the Indian boy who supposedly had to take care of the bulls, when warned of this event indifferently replied “Why, when all it’ll ever see is shit” captured all the spirit of the indigenous race he found throughout his journey. A “defeated race” who had no hope in the future, no single aspiration of better conditions to live, just the despair to keep on living their miserable life day after day just because they were already used to do it. As a consequence, Ernesto started to comprehend the human misery better, increasing his desire of social justice which would lead him to become one of the most prominent and inspiring revolutionary icons of the twentieth century.

On the other hand, in “The Great Gatsby”, even though the book mainly portrays the experiences of wealthy people, even among them it is possible to find some social differences because the novel clearly presents a marked stratification of the characters of...

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