The texts I have studied including the poem “Journey: The North Coast” by Robert Gray, film by Walter Salles, The Motorcycle Diaries and “The Ride of Zhu” short story by Nick Long have apparent assumptions underlying the concept of journey in that the process is more important than the journey itself and that physical journeys can result in an inner and emotional transitions.
Gray used visual imagery to show the beauty and harshness as he focuses his attention to what is outside the carriage as he describes the land. The images imply growth and fertility. The closing shadows that will soon give way to the vibrant light as “the country bursts open on the sea” shows the changing scenery of this physical journey undertaken by the persona. This establishes the flurry of movement and supports the assumption that the process is more important than journey.
The momentary reflection Gray has used on “press down the latches of the case” symbolises freedom and satisfaction with his journey from the city into nature. We feel a sense gratitude towards the persona's travellings as he feels he has connected with nature on a new level. We are provided with an inside into his emotional and physical journeys and a vibrant sense of homecoming and pleasure with the process of his journey.
Salles has portrayed the physical journey of Ernsto (Che) and Alberto as an act of spontaneity. The use of the motorcycle symbolises the hardships faced by the two men as the bike is continuously breaking and crashing. The constant gurgling “putt putt” of the bike stresses the amount of difficulties faced by Che and Alberto. The hardships express the fact that they overcame the bumps in the road and that the process effected them physically and emotionally.
The film has a powerful ending as the Che and Alberto depart as friends in a an emotional goodbye. The dialogue used by Che “....has changed me. I am not me anymore” shows just how much this physical process has effected him emotionally as “something happened...” that he will “have to think about it for a long time”. The soft side of Che's playful companion Alberto comes out as he watches Che's plane take off into the distance and a sense of realism is added to the film as Salles stands the real Alberto in the same position when he is older and grown up. These really demonstrate the emotional transition encountered by the two men.
When rolling the credits Salles also uses black and white images to show the lasting memory of the people and their poverty and unhappiness to make us as an audience appreciate that this film has taken us on an emotional journey with in ourselves and reminisce on the process of this journey.