Becoming Che

According to Eduardo Elena’s readings there were many distributing factors in Guevara’s childhood and young adulthood that got him to the point where he was when the movie started. For starters he moved around a lot during his childhood. Also as a child since he had such bad asthma and other illnesses he was often forced to remain indoors, because of this he became a devoted reader. The family library was stocked with a wide variety of traveling books that he came to love.  But even Drinot’s readings talked about how big an impact books were on Esrnesto’s adult life. In fact on of the last things recorded of him doing before he died was reading under a tree. Even as he lay dying he asked the teacher who brought him food to fix the spelling on the chalkboard. This shows just how much the written word meant to him.

Elena mentioned how his grandmother use to tell him stories about her father and how he was an exile from the regime of the Argentine dictator Juan Manuel de Rosas and how he moved to California during the 1840’s gold rush. Also during his childhood “his family hosted ex-combatants from the Spanish Civil War whose stories of the Republic’s brave struggles against right-wing nationalist captivated the young Ernesto.” (Elena)  Those two factors could have been factors into the early making of Che. Maybe even before he knew it himself but such strong positive interesting stories could influence anyone.

The readings talk about how the trip during Motorcycle Diaries was not his first excursion. In fact he had hitchhiked and biked around Argentine several times before this trip. But he rejected tourism during his travels in part to try to forget about his own life but mostly to “investigate the inner workings of society.” (Elena) Seeing the real part of society the working man and their struggles this is what moved Ernesto because he was able to see what was really going on in the world outside of his own little world. His father actually compared him to the Spanish conquistadors with the big difference that “Che’s voyages of discovery led to Latin American liberation instead of subjugation.” His father also called him a “social investigator.” Also Elena went on to say he was like a “scientist who sought to understand and document humanity and if possible to alleviate suffering.”

During his travels he stopped at numerous hospitals and clinics to help out. He went to medical school to help people but his life and his passions ended up taking him on a whole different path to help the people. Elena’s reading also talked about how he was an anti-Peronist and would talk about it with his family and friends but rarely talked about it and was not big into politics. Ernesto not being into politics is a big surprise considering he ended up becoming the most famous revolutionary hero in Latin American history. It just goes to show he really was just doing it to help people and that he really did not have any hidden selfish reasonings behind what he was doing.