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Travelling as the Key to Self-Knowledge essay
← Henry Ossawa Tanner and Henri De Toulouse-Lautrec: Impression and InspirationHaitian-Americans and Vodou →

Travelling as the Key to Self-Knowledge. Custom Travelling as the Key to Self-Knowledge Essay Writing Service || Travelling as the Key to Self-Knowledge Essay samples, help

Living in the familiar surroundings, a person get used to society, conditions, pace of life. Travelling expands the horizons of perception, shows life in its dynamics and uncovers the nature of a human being by giving an opportunity to analyze numerous characters and life lines. Travelling also shows personal values and virtues in the process of its formation, individual principles and beliefs. When solitariness and unity with the road brings recognition, travelling becomes the unique practice in philosophy.

Main characters in Forster’s A Room with a View and Guevara’s The Motorcycle Diaries travel through the space and consciousness. Both travelers are trying to identify, recognize or analyze themselves in new spheres and landscapes, faces and problems (Bal 2002, p. 89). Their road is a search for life inspiration, social research and answer for their fundamental questions.

The concept of travelling embraces different aspects of inner and outer movement. Analyzing the world by comparing different characters and points of view, a person understands world objectively and becomes much more experienced. The visit to Italy was not the only Lucy Honeychurch’s travelling. She came through different stages of the world perception, inner and outer journeys, such as intercultural travelling, travelling trough the personal sexuality, travelling through the generations, travelling as dynamics, travelling as the getaway (Bal 2002, p. 41).

Guevara’s travelling was a part of his self education, sense of freedom. The young man’s motorcycle journey contains different kinds of travelling, as well: travelling as the search for motivation, travelling as the search for cultural identity, travelling as the escape, travelling as the personal examination, travelling as a desire to stop social discrimination and alienation. Nevertheless, all these journeys are parts of the unique conception of personal identification that can be regarded from several points of view.

Travelling as the escape

Both travelers decided to leave ancestral home in order to understand the outer world and themselves without limits of perception. Mrs. Honeychirch feels the strong desire to see other life, education, art, culture and people. Anything that differs from narrow aristocratic perception imposed since childhood, whereas Ernesto Guevara is looking for the answers as his life seems to be predetermined and approved by his parents. He tries to open horizons, identify his mission and determination.

The travelling of Lucy Honeychurch is a search for a place in the sun and the social getaway. As she explains to her Italian fellow-traveler, who asked her during their coaching to the landscapes, she was a tourist. This explanation merely corresponds to her life perception. Lucy was investigating the life, human nature as she was becoming an adult.

Nevertheless, these decisions are not the only gateway during main heroes’ travelling.  After breaking off the engagement, Lucy decides to go to Greece. Analyzing this decision, Lucy’s mother suggests that her plans are provided by her desire to run away from the habitual atmosphere and avoid things that remind about her feelings. When she was asked to explain why Greece and why now, she cried with her sincere explanation: “But I must go somewhere! I must! And the time I shall have with mother, and all the money she spent on me last spring. You all think much too highly of me. I must get away, ever so far. I must know my own mind and where I want to go” (Forster 2008, p. 111).

Che Guevara finds himself escaping from his own fears, such as living banal life of Latin Americans, fear of physical weakness, overcome by the desire to work as the doctor, the fear to appear helpless and unable to help other people. This travelling helps him to realize his ability is significant; meanwhile, Lucy understands that she was trying to escape from her own nature, to hide her personality from herself, regarding travelling as the place to hide.

Travelling as the dynamics

The road uncovers different parts of human nature, sincerity, self-possession, firmness and fidelity to one's principles. The road is the place to think and examine. Travelling as the movement, which does not have an ultimate goal or single direction, shows the dynamics of life, its irony and changeability (Bal 2002, p. 57). Che Guevara experiences different roots and transports, while facing difficulties of hunger and misfortune. Nevertheless, he stays firm and self assured. He understands that Latin America is incognizable without movement and social development. Dynamics broadens the horizons.

Purely emblematic opposition between George Emerson and Cecil Vyse symbolizes the opposition between dynamics and statics. Cecil is a person, who can be characterized by Freddy’s expression “Are these people great readers? Are they that sort?” (Forster 2008, p. 74).

He feels the beauty, but he cannot create one, cannot feel real emotions and appreciate them, while George Emerson symbolizes dynamics itself, he works with the railway clocks, which means that clocks are a symbol of time dynamics, and the railway is a symbol of the spatial movement. George Emerson is also an essentially mobile person, and it uncovers his ambitiousness as one of the main treats. The opposition may also refer to the perception of the change of epochs.

The broken motorcycle, cold, heat, thirst that were experienced by travelers, symbolize the act of challenging human nature, the strength of human will: “In no time, however, the light evening breeze became a violent wind, uprooting our tent and exposing us to the elements and the worsening cold” (Guevara 2005, p. 23).

While oppositional dynamics in Mrs. Honeychirch’s perception symbolically outlined the movement of time, Guevara’s movement symbolizes a 8,000 miles’ journey, travelling of inner change and cognition.

Travelling as the personal issue

Ernesto Guevara’s travelling is a tremendous exploration. It was a search for the national identity, cultural uniqueness, and fight with Ernesto’s own weakness. The autobiographic novel, written by Che Guevara, shows the strength of the will, desire to help people, the government of prejudice and injustice in South America that was condemned to be ruined (Bodden 1990, p. 34).

Travelling by ship, Guevara experienced one of the strongest asthmatic attacks, and his overcoming was also a part of his internal struggle. Medicine in Latin America appears to be extremely poor, and people, who live there, have serious problems with their health. Leprosy is the illness of indigent people who live in the environment full of diseases, fighting with the low level of hygiene. It shows the quality of their life, the way people used to live in terrible conditions. The desire to become a doctor goes side by side with the unique desire to help people, who were abandoned to the whims of fate.

Mrs. Honeychurch’s identity was covered with the shell of moderation. Her passion was hidden under the mask of sophisticated manners, and her inherent expressiveness was suppressed and prejudged. Her passion and her expressiveness do not correspond to manners and values, she was taught to respect.

Her dualistic temper symbolized by passion in piano playing and modesty in everyday life is the suppressed sexuality that becomes discovered in Italy. The interrelation between coacher and the young girl and the murder that was witnessed by Mrs. Honeychirch symbolizes an incredible passion as a part of the Italian mentality and the way Lucy understood it.

Che Guevara’s journey began as a frivolous adventure, gradually turning into a mission, which was physically and psychologically outlined. Discovering his own weakness and strength, possibility and determination, young Che finds his nation in misery, witnesses the injustice of country life and reappraises the values. By the end of the journey, both heroes experience inner change, during which Lucy learns to play the music of sincere love and passion, while Guevara becomes a doctor of social leprosy, called prejudice.

Travelling as the cultural analysis

Mrs.  Honeychirchstudies the Italian culture, history of art and local specifics. During their small trip to the picturesque places, a man was interested about Lucy’s aim of travelling: "So, Miss Honeychurch, you are travelling? As a student of art?” "Perhaps as a student of human nature. I am here as a tourist” (Forster 2008, p. 67). Lucy’s answer expresses her perception of culture through the mentality specifics, which  is the reason her investigation of Italians becomes the search for her individuality. In the end of a dialogue, Miss Lavish adds: "The narrowness and superficiality of the Anglo-Saxon tourist is nothing less than a menace”. This explanation symbolizes the opposition between English modesty and Italian expressiveness.

This analytical expression refers to Lucy’s intercultural travellingthatopens up new horizons in mentality and her own psychological features. According to Emerson’s explanation, Italy brought the unique feelings in search of personal identity, whereas cultural uniqueness of Latin Americans appears to be under threat.

People, who lived in Latin America, were suppressed by Spanish and American nation. Such problems as lack of funds and education made them dependent and oppressed. While travelling around Latin America, Guevara feels sympathy to his indigent brothers. Che meets diverse people who deserve fighting for (Schüller 2005, p. 110). He notices how friendly native inhabitants are. He communicates with different people, analyzing their lifestyle, and realizes that they did not become a part of globalization, they carry their traditions, majority of them speak only in their local dialect, living in the unique cultural environment.

The uniqueness of Latin Americans’ culture, lifestyle, language and traditions seem to be compelling for Che as a part of his own cultural identity. Sharing the cultural heritage, obtained from his forefathers, encourages him to be proud of his origin, while Lucy Honeychirch studies foreign culture, finding regularities and common features. Considering Italian character as the opposition to her modesty, she notices how crucial it is to be an open-minded person.

Travelling as the revolution

When meeting different people who faced problems and misfortune, Che understands the level of social vulnerability. Total indifference towards ordinary people is symbolized as the leprosy of society. Guevara’s travelling is also a cultural plunge, as he emphasizes how smart and developed the ancient culture was, before it was seized by conquerors. This trip opened his eyes about the inhabitants' situation and awakened his social conscience.

The Motorcycle Diaries text contains symbolical features and parallels, such as physical diseases and social misperception. For example, people who had a leprosy lived on the other side of the river; healthy people isolated the sick ones, as Americans isolated themselves from the Cubans, the way wealthy people try not to keep contact with poor people and unfortunate farmers that were as disgusting as the leprosy.

These national and social barriers were symbolized by the river. Ernesto managed to swim from coast to coast, emblematically reuniting nations and social classes. The travel from one coast to another was a symbol of connection.

Mrs. Honeychirch’s evolutional world perception reminds first feministic inspiration that is expressed in conservative views. Nevertheless, Mrs. Honeychirch feels how crucial it is to study and investigate the human personality and culture. Travelling is her nature to explore, living dynamics and symbol of the new generation, while the main lifestyle principle that she knew was the domesticity of the woman with good manners.

When Mr. Emerson asks her to contact his son, George Emerson, Lucy demonstrates incredible modesty, while staying open-minded, she explained how significant it is to have a hobby or interesting job. They both compare it with her passion in playing Beethoven. Lucy’s open-minded perception challenges a common perception of a young girl, relationships and hierarchy of values. Her individual, internal revolution symbolizes the travelling through the generations, whereas Guevara’s revolution is symbolized by travelling from one bridge to another, connecting social classes, nations and helping people.

This difficult trip affected two close friends and completely changed their outlook. They crossed Latin America and saw how people survive. The formation of Che Guevara, the person who changed the minds of millions of people, the person who organized the revolution, began at that moment. He felt that the life of people who live in Latin America is miserable, they are oppressed, their culture stays preserved by native inhabitants, but it is still under threat; whereas Mrs. Honeychirch revealed her natural character, broadened her life perception and experienced the real love that appeared to be beyond the hierarchy and prejudice, which marked the new era of self-sufficient women.

The Motorcycle Diaries explored the inner challenge, challenge to the person’s values and virtues through awakening the hero's character, realizing how great the power of the human will is. Guevara discovers himself as a person with the main aim, enlightening mission and desire to make the world better, while Lucy explored the culture and mentality of Italian people in terms of her own perception, analyzing the nature of passion, love and art. The history and culture of different countries broadened her viewpoint and individuality, as well as helped her to understand herself unassumingly, objectively and open-mindedly.

Both characters tried to understand themselves through the dynamics of travelling. Common environment influenced their points of view, values, perception of people, who lived around them. The plunge into the unique culture and communication with people who are closer to authentic atmosphere helped to experience their lifestyle, feel their emotions and share their problems. Understanding the outer world enhances  person’s understanding of  oneself to a considerable degree.

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