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Question:

Travelling to new places, or viewing a familiar place through new eyes,


can transform ourunderstanding of ourselves and the world.
To what extent is this statement true regarding your prescribed text
and at least ONE related text of your own choosing?
The travelogue diary The Motorcycle Diaries (1995) by Che Guevara
demonstrates how through his exploration and journey, Guevara was able to
discover the social injustice in Latin America as well as kindle his future
revolutionary nature. In addition, the poem Invictus (1875) by William Ernest
Henley explores how an epiphany can challenge and transform ones
preconceptions about self-determinism resulting in renewed perceptions.
Therefore, journeys of political awakening and new spiritual insights and have
been shown to greatly transform ones understanding of themselves and the
world.
Through his spatial exploration in The Motorcycle Diaries Guevara discovers
the struggle of the proletariat, which ultimately stimulates his Marxist values.
This is most evident in Guevaras encounter with a married Chilean couple who
were communists and had not one single miserable blanket to cover
themselves with where the empathetic tone and emotive language such as the
mans figure carried a mysterious tragic air acts as an appeal to pathos.
Moreover, the use of anaphora in his three months in prisonhis starving wife
his children lefthis fruitless pilgrimage reinforces the sense of injustice, and
provides further justification for Guevaras emerging political persuasion.
Consequently, Guevaras speech about a United Latin America reveals his deep
desire to help the proletariat and his newfound ambition to rid [himself] of the
weight of small-minded provincialism. This is emphasisedby the alliteration and
epistrophe in its time that those who govern spentmore money, much more
money, on socially useful works, which represents the beginnings of his
transformation towards Marxist values. In addition to this, the enormity of
Guevaras shift in perspective is illustrated by his rejection of the privileged
bourgeoisie life as an Argentinian medical doctor. For example the tricolon in
Guevaras close contact with poverty, with hunger, with disease is indicative of
the magnitude of the social injustice that he encountered, and reaffirms in him
his new views. Therefore, it can be seen how Guevaras dislocation exposed him
to the suffering of the proletariat in Latin America, and as a result facilitated the
formation of his new perspective.
Guevaras travelling also acts as a journey of self-discovery that forces him to reevaluate his understanding of his purpose, and eventually lead him to discover
his capacity as a revolutionary. Through the episodic and non-linear structure of
the vignettes, the reader is able to comprehend a condensed process of his
political metamorphosis. For example, Guevaras attitude towards a trip which
was decided just like that is initially generally light-hearted and humorous, as
highlighted by the hyperbole an infinite number of paths to all ends of the
earth. However, as the journey unfolds a shift towards a more serious and

reflective tone occurs in his thoughts, such as I knew that when the great
guiding spirit cleaves humanity into two antagonistic halves, I would be with the
people, whereby the metaphor of conflict foreshadows his revolutionary nature.
Thus, Guevaras The Motorcycle Diaries can be seen as an atypical
bildungsroman since he already possessed the personality and values which
were only intensified as a result of his journey. In this sense, instead of Guevaras
initial intention to help those [proletariat] people through his medical degree,
the reader is shown the incubating of the blood of a truly emancipating
revolution[ary] through the vivid imagery take my bloodstained weapon and,
consumed with fury, slaughter any enemy who falls into my hands. Hence, not
only has Guevaras perspective on the world around him changed, but his
understanding of himself as a revolutionary has also dramatically transformed.
Henleys poem Invictus focuses on the spiritual epiphany made by the persona
through physical tribulations. The discovery that I am the master of my fate is
reflective of Henleys foot amputation and hospitalisation at the time of
composition, which greatly impacted his outlook on life. This is demonstrated
through the extended metaphor representing suffering such as the night that
covers me and Horror of the shade as well as the alternate rhyme scheme
throughout the poem such as polesoul and aloudunbowed which
reinforces the constancy of his suffering. Furthermore, the personification of
chance in the fell clutch of circumstance and bludgeonings of chance holds
strong connotations of despair that reinforces the difficulty that he faces, and
provides the first allusion towards the perseverance required to overcome his
situation.Consequently, rather than be deterred by his ailment, Henley uses the
opportunity to strengthen his resilience which is evident in the menace of the
years/ Finds and shall find me unafraid where the metaphor of death coupled
with the shift from present to future tense emphasises his determination to
maintain a positive attitude. More subtly, the title of the poem Invictus
translates from Latin to mean unconquered and becomes a recurring motif
such as in my unconquerable soul and I am the captain of my soul, which
highlights Henleys resolve. As a result,Henleys immense physical trauma
necessitated his forging of new self-deterministic values in order to arrive at a
renewed perception on life.
Therefore by closely examining Guevaras travelogue diary The Motorcycle
Diaries and Henleys poem Invictus we can comprehend the newfound values
of each of the respective composers and personas. This has been demonstrated
for Guevara in his exploration of Latin America and his subsequent revolutionary
ideas; as well as Henley in his spiritual epiphany about self-determinism
triggered by his foot amputation. Thus it becomes apparent how the journey and
viewing a familiar place through new eyes enormously transforms ones
understanding of themselves and the world.