A New Language By Eva Hoffman And Hunger Of Memory By Richard Rodriguez

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Immigration is process that requires much courage, for it usually entails a feeling of alienation, failure, and nostalgia, though it has the greatest benefits in the successful and exciting opportunities that it gives to immigrants. Lost in Translation: A Life in a New Language by Eva Hoffman and Hunger of Memory by Richard Rodriguez are autobiographies of an immigrant and child of immigrants that tell the stories of two young people who are trying to find their way in the exotic world of mid-20th century North America. Both writers began their time in the Americas feeling alienated and alone. Richard is the son of Mexican immigrants, and he begins his journey of assimilation knowing just fifty English words. Eva is a first generation…show more content…
We’ve been catapulted across so many generational divides…My mother, through all of her uprootings, has retained the habits of a small-town life” (Hoffman 250). Eva has turned into a successful writer and traveler who lives in New York, but her mother has remained a small-town Polish immigrant. At one point in the novel, Eva’s mother comments that she is more “English”, implying that she has become colder. Throughout the book, she writes about cultural differences between America and Poland; one of the differences being the more community oriented Polish environment versus the independent and identity-driven America. Eva’s traits align further with the American identity, while her parents are much more Polish in their culture and personality, and this creates a thin, cultural barrier between the two generations. Like Eva, Richard grows apart from his family as he assimilates to the American life. Richard begins the novel as a young boy who is strongly comforted by the Spanish language, and he’s afraid, almost terrified, of English, the language of “los gringos”. As he goes to school, he learns the English language, which his parents ask him to practice all the time, and begins to lose some of his Spanish knowledge and identity from a lack of usage. While recalling memories of disappointing and being belittled by Spanish visitors in his
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