The Motorcycle Diaries

by

Ernesto Che Guevara

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The Stranger Character Analysis

The stranger is a political activist that Ernesto meets in Venezuela. Although Ernesto provides almost no concrete details about him, he hints that he’s from Europe and was involved in a Communist movement there. The stranger is waiting for the chance to be involved in a South American revolution, and he believes that the success of revolutionary movements is paramount, meriting the sacrifice of innocent lives. Talking with the stranger solidifies Ernesto’s commitment not just to political activism but to violent revolution.

The Stranger Quotes in The Motorcycle Diaries

The The Motorcycle Diaries quotes below are all either spoken by The Stranger or refer to The Stranger. 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 46 Quotes

The terrible thing is the people need to be educated, and this they cannot do before taking power, only after. They can only learn at the cost of their own mistakes, which will be very serious and will cost many innocent lives.

Related Characters: The Stranger (speaker), Ernesto Guevara
Page Number: 164
Explanation and Analysis:

I knew that when the great guiding spirit cleaves humanity into two antagonistic halves, I would be with the people. I know this, I see it printed in the night sky that I, eclectic dissembler of doctrine and psychoanalyst of dogma, howling like one possessed, will assault the barricades or the trenches, will take my bloodstained weapon and, consumed with fury, slaughter any enemy who falls into my hands.

Related Characters: Ernesto Guevara (speaker), The Stranger
Page Number: 165
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Stranger Character Timeline in The Motorcycle Diaries

The timeline below shows where the character The Stranger appears in The Motorcycle Diaries. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
46. Anotación al Margen (A Note in the Margin)
Class Consciousness Theme Icon
Growing Up Theme Icon
Individuality vs. Ideology Theme Icon
...[has] melted away” and he is engulfed by darkness. In this village, he meets a stranger. Although Ernesto only gives a vague description of this man and his practical circumstances, he... (full context)
Class Consciousness Theme Icon
Individuality vs. Ideology Theme Icon
The stranger gives a long speech about revolution, which Ernesto transcribes verbatim onto the page. He says... (full context)
Class Consciousness Theme Icon
Medicine, Politics, and Helping Others Theme Icon
Growing Up Theme Icon
Individuality vs. Ideology Theme Icon
After saying goodbye to the stranger, Ernesto experiences what he describes as a personal “revelation.” He, too, now views revolution as... (full context)