The Motorcycle Diaries


Ernesto Che Guevara

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Chichina and “Comeback” Symbol Analysis

Chichina and “Comeback” Symbol Icon

After leaving Buenos Aires but before beginning their trip in earnest, Ernesto and Alberto visit Ernesto’s girlfriend Chichina at her summer house. Like Ernesto, Chichina is from an urban, upper-middle class family, but while Ernesto feels ambivalent about his privileged background, Chichina is completely comfortable with it; She always appears within the comfort of her luxurious summer home or on a private beach, and she expresses her love for Ernesto through material goods, giving him a gold bracelet before they part ways. Ernesto considers himself to be in love with her, but he also characterizes her presence as intoxicating, like a drug—enticing him and tempting him to abandon his road trip, but not necessarily making him content. Thus, Chichina simultaneously symbolizes the comforts and attractions of conventional bourgeois life, and Ernesto’s anxieties about remaining within this social sphere. Ernesto names the dog he brings Chichina “Comeback,” as a promise that he will resume his life with her after the road trip. Thus, theoretically Comeback symbolizes Ernesto’s commitment to the kind of conventional life Chichina represents. However, Comeback almost dies several times on the way to Chichina’s summer house, falling off the motorcycle and refusing to eat. This suggests that Ernesto’s commitment to life with Chichina is tenuous from the start, and it foreshadows their breakup and his eventual rejection of bourgeois values. In retrospect, both Chichina and Comeback show how much Ernesto’s commitments change as a result of his road trip.

Chichina and “Comeback” Quotes in The Motorcycle Diaries

The The Motorcycle Diaries quotes below all refer to the symbol of Chichina and “Comeback”. 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 4 Quotes

I remember the day my friend the sea came to my defense…The beach was deserted and a cold onshore wind was blowing. My head rested in the lap tying me to this land, lulled by everything around. The entire universe drifted rhythmically by, obeying the impulses of my inner voice…And then, for the last time, I heard the ocean’s warning.

Related Characters: Ernesto Guevara (speaker), Chichina
Related Symbols: Chichina and “Comeback”
Page Number: 36
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 11 Quotes

A feeling of profound unease came over me; I felt that I was incapable of feeling anything. I began to feel afraid for myself and started a tearful letter, but I couldn't write, it was hopeless to try. In the half-light that surrounded us, phantoms swirled around and around but "she" wouldn't appear. I still believed I loved her until this moment, when I realized I felt nothing.

Related Characters: Ernesto Guevara (speaker), Chichina
Related Symbols: Chichina and “Comeback”
Page Number: 54
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chichina and “Comeback” Symbol Timeline in The Motorcycle Diaries

The timeline below shows where the symbol Chichina and “Comeback” appears in The Motorcycle Diaries. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
3. El Descubrimiento del Océano (Discovery of the Ocean)
Growing Up Theme Icon
Individuality vs. Ideology Theme Icon
Ernesto explains that he is bringing a dog, named Comeback, to his girlfriend, Chichina. He describes Comeback as a “symbol and a survivor.” Comeback is... (full context)