The Motorcycle Diaries


Ernesto Che Guevara

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The mine workers are a husband and wife whom Ernesto and Alberto meet on the way to the Chuquicamata copper mine. Both had lost their jobs in another mine because they were members of the Communist party (which was outlawed and generally hated at the time) even though they were only guilty of protesting low wages and atrocious working conditions. Ernesto characterizes this couple as both heroic and deeply relatable, desiring only their basic rights and being willing to fight for them. They show Ernesto that Communism isn’t an ideology to be hated and feared, but rather the sensible choice for the oppressed and underserved proletariat.

Mine Workers Quotes in The Motorcycle Diaries

The The Motorcycle Diaries quotes below are all either spoken by Mine Workers or refer to Mine Workers. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Class Consciousness Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Ocean Press edition of The Motorcycle Diaries published in 2003.
Chapter 19 Quotes

By the light of the single candle illuminating us, drinking mate and eating a piece of bread and cheese, the man's shrunken figure carried a mysterious, tragic air. In his simple, expressive language he recounted his three months in prison, and told us about his starving wife who stood by him with exemplary loyalty, his children left in the care of a kindly neighbor, his fruitless pilgrimage in search of work and his compañeros, mysteriously disappeared and said to be somewhere at the bottom of the sea.

Related Characters: Ernesto Guevara (speaker), Mine Workers
Page Number: 77
Explanation and Analysis:

It's a great pity that they repress people like this. Apart from whether collectivism, the "communist vermin" is a danger to decent life, the communism gnawing at his entrails was no more than a natural longing for something better, a protest against persistent hunger transformed into a love for this strange doctrine, whose essence he could never grasp but whose translation, "bread for the poor," was something which he understood and, more importantly, filled him with hope.

Related Characters: Ernesto Guevara (speaker), Mine Workers
Page Number: 78
Explanation and Analysis:
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Mine Workers Character Timeline in The Motorcycle Diaries

The timeline below shows where the character Mine Workers appears in The Motorcycle Diaries. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
19. Esta Vez, Fracaso (This Time, Disaster)
Class Consciousness Theme Icon
Individuality vs. Ideology Theme Icon
On their way to the Chuquicamata, they fall in with two mine workers , a husband and wife, who are out of work and homeless after being blacklisted... (full context)