Aria: a Memoir of a Bilingual Childhood Essay

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Aria: A Memoir of a Bilingual Childhood by Richard Rodriguez is an essay that shows his readers a part of life that many have never experienced. Rodriguez uses this essay to show how he fights through his childhood to understand English. Speaking clear English will help him to fit in to society. He faces society while forfeiting his happy home life, to try to become a typical English-speaking student. As a young child, Rodriguez finds comfort and safety in his noisy home full of Spanish sounds. Spanish, is his family's' intimate language that comforts Rodriguez by surrounding him in a web built by the family love and security which is conveyed using the Spanish language. "I recognize you as someone close, like no one outside. You…show more content…
He feels a great sense of betrayal of his Mexican past. His connection that held him so close to his family is destabilized. Rodriguez's parents think they are doing the best job possible raising their three children. Being a lower class family, money was not something that was always available. His mother and father can always supply them with love and nurturing. The way they let their children know they are special and close is to talk to them in their private language. His parents could not speak good English; they could not translate their terms of endearment for the children without the saying losing its meaning. "Using Spanish, he (the father) was quickly effusive...his voice would spark, flicker, flare alive with varied sounds." Only speaking English, the father is a completely different person. Speaking Spanish is was a loud vivid man, only using English changed him into a quiet, often thought shy person. In society's eyes, speaking Spanish at home further damages their children's' chance at a bright future. "My mother grew restless, seemed troubled and anxious at the scarceness of words exchanged in the house." His mother carries a burden of frustration for what she thinks is best for her children. It is puzzling why they didn't set aside a special family time for only speaking in Spanish. Were the nuns and society so intimidating to Rodriguez's
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