What is a summary of The Motorcycle Diaries.

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durbanville eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Che Guevera is the well-known, famous or infamous  Argentinian who became the leader of the Cuban revolution. The Motorcycle Diaries, adapted from his own journals, tracks the start of his "journey" as it becomes so much more than two young men setting off to discover themselves before the burden of responsibility takes over.

 Ernesto Guevara de la Serna is a 23 year old medical student who goes with his best friend on a roadtrip covering South America and culminating in an intended internship in a leper colony. Along the way, the motorbike breaks down, they inevitably run out of money and are forced to beg favor from complete strangers, in interesting and inventive ways, they argue with each other when they have no-one else for company and they see much poverty which affects Ernesto greatly. They also, typically get into a lot of trouble over their sexual exploits.  

It is a chance meeting that will introduce Ernesto to Marxist philosophy and that will change the course of Ernesto's future. At the leper colony, he faces his fears and accepts the people there who have been deprived and who are to him the epitome of class division. The contradiction forces him to examine his conscience and the direction of his life. His life and that of his friend which seemed so similar will , in future, be so different.