Hunger of Memory - Essay Example

Name: Instructor: Task: Date: Hunger of Memory Hunger of Memory is a story written by Richard Rodriguez, a young man of Mexican-American Origin from the state of California. It is a story of how he began his education as a small boy, how education separated him from his family, and how his search for education drew divisive lines between him and his family, his culture and his background roots…
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Hunger of Memory
Download file to see previous pages However, this does not deter his quest for knowledge that he diligently pursues until he concludes his studies at the university. He begins from a humble location but ends up in a prestigious place, i.e. he completes his studies in a stately and quiet reading room found in the British Museum, compared to the small humble background where he began his studies. Richard Rodriguez is a minority student owing to his Mexican-American origin. Hunger of Memory is a story detailing poignantly the journey of this minority student through the scales of education. Furthermore, the story outlines the costs he incurs in order to assimilate socially with his counterparts at colleges and the university, as well as what it takes for him to excel academically and record commendable academic success. In addition to these costs, Richard Rodriguez also has to suffer the pain of alienation from his family and culture, as he has to go away from home, stay far away from home long enough to forget his cultural roots and backgrounds. The quest for studies alienates Richard Rodriguez from his parents, his past and his culture. In his celebrated memoir, Hunger of Memory, he describes the high price that one has to pay in order to succeed in a modern middle-class society of America. Hunger of Memory provides a powerful political statement as well as a profound study of how language is very important in the modern world. In addition, it holds provocative positions about bilingual education and affirmative action. As such, the book is entirely an intimate portrait of a boy who struggles to become a man. Richard Rodriguez strives to learn a new second language as a child. He is one of the students who assimilate through learning a new language of their host country. He originally spoke Spanish, which was his native language, but later learnt to speak English just as fluently as any native-born American could speak. This new twist in language brought about confusion in their home as their parents spoke Spanish while at home, Rodriguez, and his siblings had to speak English while at school. Learning a new language is one of the items in education that alienated Richard Rodriguez from his culture. He was born Mexican-American with Spanish as his first language. However, because of education, he had to abandon his native language and learn a new language of their host country, America, in order to assimilate well into their education system. This made him drift away from his culture because before he began studying, Spanish language was the center of his life and consolidated his family. However, learning English language meant he was moving out into a public sphere. This meant he had to split away from his family. This generated a hunger within him, a deep desire of his private past, a nostalgic past, and a private language that he could no longer speak. However, contrary to expectations, Richard Rodriguez embraces the hunger he has for his nostalgic past because of having to move out from being a Spanish student to assimilating into a real America. On the other hand, he also feels nostalgic about the relationships and upbringing he has to go through in his quest to become an educated man. Richard Rodriguez had a catholic upbringing. However, he moves from studying in catholic schools to studying in non-catholic universities contrary to his catholic upbringi ...Download file to see next pagesRead more
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