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Along our lives, we have always heard about heroes. When children, we were told about those who were able to save the world using their super powers, and those who hid their identity with the purpose of keeping their life away from fame. Usually, heroes are shown as brave men who fight against horrible villains exposing themselves to danger. Whereas, there exist real heroes in the world, and they neither have the force of one hundred men, nor x ray vision. These heroes are common men or women who fight and struggle for reaching a target that can make change their lives forever and make them feel satisfied. There are two different stories that show us two different types of heroes. It is the case of "The Great Gatsby" and "Motorcycle Diaries" where the main characters, Jay Gatsby and Ernesto Guevara respectively, are both heroes. At a first glance, these two men could seem very different; however it can really surprise to find how much in common Gatsby and Guevara have. Jay Gatsby is a tragic hero, and Ernesto Guevara is a hero in course or a future hero. This two definitions of a hero could not be clear at all, whereas in the next essay I am going to demonstrate with real proves found in both plots why I consider these two men as heroes.
On one hand, Jay Gatsby can be defined as a tragic hero because of many facts occurred during his life. According to Sophocles, a tragic hero is that person who knows his fate and tries to escape from it making everything possible, however it happens anyway. Usually, this hero follows a sequence that includes three steps: he must cause his own downfall, his fate is not deserved and the punishment exceeds the claim. The story of Gatsby took place at the beginning of the 20´s in New York. During this period, people tried to forget the horror lived because of the WWI wasting big amounts of money, going to parties and drinking too much. Gatsby was not the exception. He was a very rich man who had made his fortune in strange circumstances. He used to give enormous parties at his mansion full of wine and food where anybody could attend, even without knowing the host. But the main purpose of Gatsby's parties was not forgetting the war. His purpose was recovering the love of a girl who he had known during his youth before becoming rich and powerful. This girl was called Daisy and I can say that Gatsby was obsessed with her. Unfortunately for Gatsby now she was married and had a little daughter. It did now seem worry Gatsby much, whose dream was living the life he always should have lived with the love of his life. He thought having money meant having all, even love. That was the fact that drove Gatsby to cause his own downfall, one of the main characteristics of a tragic hero. He was the only responsible of his failure when trying to make his dream true. Gatsby failed when he thought that Daisy was and would be with him forever. She had a comfortable life being married with Tom Buchannan, and though he did not loved her because he had a lover called Myrtle, she would never change that life for living the Gatsby's dream of going back to their young love. Another important aspect related to a tragic hero is his fate was not deserved. In this case, Jay Gatsby had to live hard situations that he did not deserve at all. For example, he lived his whole life dreaming about the moment when he and Daisy would meet again and would continue their romance. That moment happened, but it was not fair for Gatsby and his dream because after making a big struggle, he deserved to be truly loved. Nevertheless, it seemed that for daisy, Gatsby was just another toy. Gatsby gave too much for Daisy and he did not receive anything. The third characteristic belonging to a tragic hero is that the punishment exceeds the clam. Gatsby's claim was to recover Daisy's love, but the price he had to pay for that was too high, the death. When Daisy was not able to decide between Gatsby and Tom´ s love, things turned worse for the first. Even though, he ran behind her and when Daisy ran over Tom´ s lover, he did not doubt to blame himself to hide Daisy who had been the real driver that night. In that part of the plot, something curious happened to Gatsby. Something similar to what Christ had to live the night before his death. Somehow, Gatsby had to take the weight of a cross that did not belong to him, but he did it for love. He knew the end was closer and he remained stoic waiting for it, just like Jesus did. And that end came when Myrtle´ s husband shot him in the back believing Gatsby had been the murderer of his loved wife. Jay Gatsby lived in a society where everybody tried to be someone else. Perhaps that is the reason of his obsession for having Daisy again, though it is possible that he never really had had it.
On the other hand, I can define Ernesto Guevara as a hero in course or a future hero. It means that he is not a hero yet, but he is living the process of becoming one during the story. Ernesto Guevara was a twenty-three-years-old trainee of doctor at the moment of starting his trip through some countries of South America such us Chile, Peru and the south area of his native country Argentina. It is important to point out that this trip took place in the 50´s, before the famous revolutions occurred in Latin America. But Ernesto was not alone in this adventure, he was always with the loyal company of his good friend Alberto Granados who was an already a doctor. When the trip began, Ernesto was not conscious about the changes it would produce on his mind. Apart from that, these two friends did not know how many things they were going to learn about people and about life. Ernesto had an adventurous spirit, so he did not have any problem in travelling on an old motorcycle nicknamed "La Poderosa" which belonged to Alberto. Apart from that, he seemed never worry much about the few amount of money he had in his pockets, and about sleeping where the night reached them with Alberto. The first evidence that shows that Ernesto was becoming a hero was at the beginning of the plot when arriving to Chile, the first country visited after going over some cities of the south areas of Argentina. Once in Chile, these two friends visited different cities and places going from the south to the north. One of those places was the mine of copper called "Chuquicamata" located in the north area of this country near to Calama. There, Ernesto knew the terrible conditions that workers had to face everyday. At that time in Chile, workers either had rights, or benefits. They had to work twelve hours in a row without resting. Those situations made Ernesto reflect about that and think he could cause a change in the future to improve labor conditions all over South America. Unconsciously, he wanted to save those people from the injustice they were suffering. According to the film director who made a movie based on the adventures lived by Ernesto during the trip, he thinks "As his journey progresses, Guevara's voice seems to deepen, to darken, colored by what he witnesses in his travels. He is still poetic, but now he comments on what he sees, though still poetically, with a new awareness of the social and political ramifications of what's going on around him". It demonstrates us that Ernesto felt really touched by what he saw in the trip. He started to change his mind according to the experiences he lived. I that mine of copper, Ernesto also knew a couple that was running away for being communists. That was the first time Ernesto heard the word communism and learned its meaning. It helped Ernesto realize about what he wanted to do for the rest of his life. He started to believe that he could be able to fight in favor of worker's rights and in favor of build a joint American continent. From that moment Ernesto began to develop thoughts in pro of communism and convinced himself that the only one way to do that was revolution. The main idea present on his mind was to help the others to be respected to be considered as human beings. Following this idea, Ernesto and Alberto arrived to a leper colony located in Peru. People who loved there were all suffering leprosy, and they had been thrown away from his families because of the illness. Ernesto felt really moved with that situation because he was not able to believe that they were completely alone in the world for something they had not chosen. Thus, he thought the best way to make them feel better was to treat them as they deserved, as human beings. He touched each of them without gloves. Gloves were the main requirement to keep any contact with leprosies because the illness is very contagious. When it happened, Ernesto and Alberto were real heroes for those people because they were the only persons who had treated them as common persons. The thankfulness from the people of the colony to these young guys was too big that they decided to organize a birthday party for Ernesto. This party would be very important for Ernesto's future because at the end of that event he pronounced the first words related to what would be his target in life. He talked about a joint America he wanted to know. He also presented the first hint of what would become his way of life in the future. He had been thinking too much about revolution and how it would help people to eliminate inequality in South America, and that was the firs time he dared to share it with the others. He discovered that the best thing he could do with his life was helping the others to give them a worthy life and fighting against injustice committed to workers. He would do this through revolution, and from that moment he dedicated his whole life to make that dream true. We all know that Ernesto Guevara was well known later as "Che" Guevara, a revolutionary man who participated in the Cuban revolution and who was killed in Bolivia in 1967. So, I can say that during the course of this trip, Ernesto started to become the man he was known later around the world. Whether he reached his goal or not, I think he did not because though he fight bravely and exposed himself to danger, America is too far from the union and people continue living injustice.
The stories of Jay Gatsby and Ernesto Guevara took place in different periods of the 20th century. These men can seem very different because of many aspects related to their personalities, such as the people they were surrounded by, their concept of happiness, among others. But they shared something very important that along the stories gave sense to their lives. That sense was to reach a target and to spend their whole lifetime in getting it. That is what categorizes them as heroes. Gatsby was a tragic one because he had to hurt too much in the process of reaching his goal, and because he never received what he deserved being killed cruelly and unfairly. Besides, Guevara was a hero in course or a future hero because during the plot he found his spirit and gave the first steps to become a hero in the future. He discovered his target in life and was recognized for many people all over the world when fighting for that purpose. So I can say that these two characters had something in common, they both struggled for making their dream reality. They had a different fates, however they did what they thought was right.