Literature Study GuidesThe Motorcycle Diaries

The Motorcycle Diaries | Study Guide

Ernesto Che Guevara

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Ernesto Che Guevara

Years Published






At a Glance

The Motorcycle Diaries is an edited version of the journal entries Ernesto Che Guevara kept while he and a friend, Alberto Granado (1922–2011), traveled through Latin America for nine months in 1952. In the diaries, Guevara recorded his thoughts and memories about his adventures. The diaries reveal how Guevara's experiences and interactions helped develop and solidify his radical political leanings. He began the journey as an idealistic young man who did not know his place in the world, but he finished it with a commitment to helping the people of Latin America win a better future. Guevara would go on to become a leading figure in the Cuban Revolution, an armed uprising in the late 1950s that brought Fidel Castro (1926–2016) into power in 1959, and he became an icon of communists and radical activists from the 1960s onward. The Motorcycle Diaries, published decades after his death, offers modern readers valuable insight into the experiences that developed Guevara's personality and mindset on his path to becoming a revolutionary.

Perspective and Narrator

The Motorcycle Diaries is narrated from the perspective of the author, Ernesto Che Guevara, in the form of a series of diary entries.

About the Title

The Motorcycle Diaries is a translation of the original Spanish title of the text, Diarios de Motocicleta. The text consists of diary entries written by Ernesto Che Guevara as he and a friend traveled through Latin America on a motorcycle in 1952. The geographical location is the basis for the subtitle, "Notes on a Latin American Journey." Although their motorcycle broke down halfway through their trip and the travelers completed their journey by hitchhiking, the motorcycle's role in the journey made The Motorcycle Diaries a fitting title for the text.


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