Chloe Troulan Essay comparing Che Guevara and Martin Luther King



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Chloe Troulan
Essay comparing Che Guevara and Martin Luther King

There are many comparisons that can be drawn between Che Guevara and Martin Luther King but they also had differences as well. When we look into the lives of them both we see that they were very strong individuals in different communities and they were followed but many people. Both of these men had similar dreams and thoughts, but at times they were the complete opposite. They both were struggling to fight for freedom from a higher power while having overthrowing opinions and thoughts which led to them both being assassinated. When looking further into the personal and political lives of these men, the way they both express their opinions through their speeches and how they related with their audiences through messages in the speeches making everyone in the audience want to follow them and agree with them. There are many examples of quotes from their speeches that prove to us that they both agreed on certain ideas, Che Guevara says “I don’t care if I fall as long as someone else picks up my gun and continues shooting” and Martin Luther King Jr says “A man that wont die for something is not fit to live”.

When comparing the lives of these two great and powerful men we can see that they were both around the same age, Che Guevara being a year older than Martin Luther King and dying a year earlier than him, this meant that they both lived in the same time era and lived to the same age as each other which was 39. Martin Luther King Jr was born in 1929 and died in 1968 and Che Guevara was born in 1928 and died in 1967. They both had a great amount of knowledge which allowed them to both gain a doctoral degree, they used their knowledge to promote all of their beliefs of a better world, which was indeed what they thought would of been a better world. Although they were similar in age their personalities were quite different, yes they both had great results from school but in 1951 Martin Luther King was elected the president of a predominately white senior class and given an award. But Che Guevara was not at school in 1951, he was on a motorcycle journey with one of his good friends Alberto Granado, they travelled to many countries along the southern American coast all the way from Buenos Aires to Venezuela, this trip opened his eyes to his social conscience. Che Guevara then later in 1953 qualified as a doctor around the same time as Martin Luther King who got his final doctorate degree 1955.

Martin Luther King married and had two daughters and two sons which mean the world to him, but when we compare him to Che Guevara we see that Che Guevara did marry around the same time as Martin Luther King in 1955 but he only had one child and shortly after he was married he ended up getting arrested with Fidel Castro whereas Martin Luther King went on to become the pastor of the Dextor Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. By this time King was a strong believer of his own thoughts and wanted to tell them to everyone else around him, he was a strong worker for civil rights for members of his race. In early December, 1955 King accepted the leadership of the first Negro nonviolent demonstration of contemporary times in the United States. Around this time Che Guevara was living in Mexico City working in a general hospital where he meets Fidel Castro which involves himself in the planned invasion of Cuba. Che Guevara later marries another woman names Aleida March de la Torre and has four children with her, Martin Luther King stayed married to the same women for his whole life. Martin Luther King had more of a stable life as we can see because he was married to one woman, had a stable job and life compared to Che Guevara who was married to two women, got arrested with Fidel Castro and he fought as a revolutionary soldier. He stated “I had in front of me a rucksack full of medicine and an ammunition case, the two weighted too much to carry together. I took the ammunition and left the rucksack behind.” This shows us that he follows what he wants to do and not what others wanted for him, similarly did Martin Luther King although most people believe what King was doing would change for the better. Martin wrote speeches about the dream he had for the Negro race, he stated “I have a dream that one day all the little black boys and girls will join hands with all the little white boys and girls and walk together as sisters and brothers”, this shows us that Martin also speaks about what he believes is right for the future. Both of these men can be called non-conformist due to the fact that they follow what they want and not what other people say to follow.

When we compare the way that both Martin Luther King and Che Guevara express their opinions and ideas we can conclude that they both fought for their beliefs of a better world and had dreams of a better world in the future. They never sat there doing nothing with their lives, they were always out somewhere in the world trying to express the way they felt. When Che Guevara visited places such as to Northern Argentina he experienced firsthand the lives that the people there have to life, impoverished conditions and low on their necessary supplies, this made him want to do something with his life to help others. But by helping others he ended up killing people thinking that it was right to do so, compared to Martin Luther King who wanted to save peoples lives and make them better, he wanted to stop putting children in segregated schools of blacks and whites and stop the black people from having to be segregated and sit at the back of the bus while the white people had the privilege of sitting at the front. King wanted to be the one to change history, to change all the racial problems and make the future better for not only his children but for all the other children around the world. When Martin Luther King entered the different groups that were to do with racial communities he began to be opened into the world of speeches and became a powerful man to all the people of his race and others worldwide. Che Guevara was hated by many people which shows us that he was the type of person to express his opinions by doing what he wanted and thought was right, by fighting as a revolutionary soldier some people turned against him and others followed him and to this day there are still many people who have strong beliefs about him and are convinced he was either a great man or a terrible person, but who is to judge because he was doing what he thought was right.

When both Che Guevara and Martin Luther King write their speeches they give out a feeling as though the audience should follow them and most people did. The way they write makes you as an individual want to agree with them and follow in their footsteps because they are so convincing. Throughout both of their speeches they both talk about how they have this idea of freedom from a higher power, this shows us that they expressed their ideas and opinions in a non-conformist way. Neither of them followed another person or listened to what other people told them to do they went in their own directions to make what they thought was right become reality. When writing their speeches they both used many literary techniques which allowed them to express their opinions to their audiences more clearly and emphasized. Throughout their speeches they use: alliteration, quotes, repetition, relations to America and many more, this tells us that they both really wanted their speeches to mean something in the eyes of others and wanted to have an impact on not only their certain audience their speech was aimed at but other people that would hear about the speech through hear say. The literary techniques make many people relate to the speech which then means that they have gained control over their audience to make them concentrate on the speech continuously. In Martin Luther Kings speech “I have a dream” he continuously repeats the words in the title which gives the speech more emphasis all the time and grabs the audiences attention back. Another way that King reaches out to the audience is by making biblical references which then allows the people that are Christians to feel as though they can be a part of his speech.



To conclude we now see that although the two powerful men are completely different in ways they are also very similar due to other reasons. When looking at their lifestyles we get an impression that Che Guevara had more of a care free life compared to Martin Luther King because he killed many people and Martin Luther King had a different outlook on life to want to help save peoples lives but there was one main point that they both tried to get through to everyone through their speeches and that was that we can all have dreams of a better future no matter what it is about. The men were both around the same age and had the same type of education but this did not mean that they had the same paths to follow in life because they were both non-conformists and wanted to follow in their own direction following their beliefs and opinions. Eventually after all their meaningful speeches they were both assassinated by people because of their strong beliefs and they were both willing to die for their beliefs this was because they wanted what they thought was a better future for the young generation of their time and by doing this they left a lasting impression on people all around the world. If we think about it most people study these two strong minded men today and each have our own opinion on what they did with their lives. Together I think that made a change in this world that some people may think is a remarkable factor but then others may think that their changes were not so great, but overall they were great men of their generation and were very similar with their complex thoughts and ideas.


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