What are some example of power, in terms of the ability to exercise one's will over others, to do what one wants; the basis of political status, from the Motorcycle Diaries? 

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Power is shown in a variety of ways in the film.  One of the main constructs of power is seen in the level of poverty that Fuser and Alberto encounter on the journey.  Both men are profoundly impacted by the impoverished conditions that surrounds them and is an indelibly sad part of their world.  For Fuser, this leaves an impact on him, helping to mold him into the Che Guevara revolutionary figure that the world knows.  Power is shown in such impoverished conditions as a reality in which money and wealth determine opportunity and the ability to lead a better life.  

Intimidation is a part of this condition of power that the boys encounter, as well.  When the boys see how the Communist couple has been cast out of society, it is a reflection of how power can seek to silence voice.  The fact that the couple must work in a copper mine, and endure massive mistreatment is another example of such a condition.  The abuse of workers from management is another example of power in the film.  This helps to galvanize young Fuser's reaction to abuse of power and mistreatment at the hands of the "haves" over those who are the "have nots."

The work in the leper colony features Fuser making a direct stance against hierarchical notions of power.  His willingness to live in a community with the lepers represents how he voices power.  Fuser understands that the abuses of power can be counteracted with individuals who voice their own willingness to transform such a condition.  Fuser shows that while there are abuses of power in the world, individuals can and should activate a voice that seeks to rectify such a condition.  In this, the film demonstrates a construction of power that illuminates the transformative power of what can be in the face of what is.