Questions for Discussion 1. One way to read Richard Rodriguez’s essay is as a discussion of two discrete educational philosophies. What are they? The two discrete educational philosophies are bilingual education and teaching a second language. 2. What does Rodriguez mean when he says, “[I]n a way, it didn’t matter very much that my parents could not speak English with ease…. And yet, in another way, it mattered very much” (para.15)? I think when Rodriguez’s said it didn’t matter to him he meant socially because his parents didn’t speak English that great but they were able to speak it to the attend of people understanding them and getting things done. It mattered to Rodriguez a lot emotionally because when you are young you …show more content…
Rodriguez was torn apart his “private” life and his “public” life. Private as in referring to the language spoken and home and the Spanish heritage at home. Public as in referring to his quite life at school where Rodriguez was intimidated by “high syllables” and the way people talked fast English. This quote illustrated how the need of
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysGet Access
Another way Rodriguez explores and conveys his conflicted feelings is with use of tropes. He uses rhetorical question, which is asking a question, not for the purpose of eliciting an answer but for the purpose of asserting or denying something obliquely. The most effective rhetorical questions in conveying his feelings is in the second to last paragraph. He questions things such as “How shall I present the argument between comedy and tragedy, this tension that describes my life? Shall I start with the boy’s chapter, then move toward more
Rodriguez struggles to fit in the “American Society” because he is bilingual. He feels the most safe when he speaks Spanish, hearing or speaking English sets fear in him. The first fear he encounters when hearing or speaking English that
Rodriguez offers a different standpoint on bilingualism, and an argument he presents is that one must be willing to give up part of their native ways when learning a language to fit into the public. Rodriguez considered Spanish a private language and English a public one. This perception made him reluctant to learn English, but at the same time, it motivated him to become a part of the public by learning its language. Rodriguez uses his family life as an example of his native identity. He was not an English speaker when he was young, but upon learning the language, he drifted away from his family, and describes it rather frankly: “I was an American citizen. But the special feeling of closeness at home was diminished by then. . . . No longer so close; no longer bound tight by the pleasing and troubling knowledge of our public separateness . . . . When I arrived home there would often be
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
Rodriguez’s main point is to strongly encourage children of immigrant parents to adopt English, the “public language” as their main language in order to become assimilated in the
Through the narrative “The Scholarship Boy” I find few turning points that I notice a shift in the demeanor of Richard Rodriguez as well as how I perceive the story. First of all, it is made apparent to me that people acknowledge him for his successes by making remarks such as, “Your parents must be proud” or “How did you manage it? According to the opening paragraphs Rodriguez is seen as a model student. Although this may be true, the first turning point I find suggests otherwise as Rodriguez conveys, “For although I was a very good student, I was also a very bad student…Always successful, always unconfident. Exhilarated by my process. Sad.” This quote changed my perspective of Rodriguez because of the negative emotion he expresses toward his family. By the same token, I recall my sister being an outstanding achiever throughout school, yet, she was similarly depressed as well as annoyed towards me and the rest of our family. This flashback assisted me in relating to Rodriguez’s emotions towards his successes. In the same fashion, I am supplied a grasp of his shift in tone and direction in the narrative.
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.
He refers to his father arriving home some nights sounding relieved and calling for his wife and then his children. At his joy hearing his father’s “light and free notes” when speaking Spanish, and that “he can never manage in English” Rodriquez was run and laugh with such pleasure because of the unity of their alienation in the outside society. Being spoken to in Spanish he feels “specially recognized.” Feeling as if he belongs, because the words that he is hearing and the words that are used to address him are spoken with ease and is not heard by the gringos.
Rodriguez also shows us that he has gained the “sociological imagination” by writing about his appreciation and understanding
This separation from his family caused a longing in his life. But this longing was superseded by what he suspected his teachers could give him. Rodriguez develops a double personality of sorts. The person he is at home, the polite child who lovingly does what his parents ask of him. And then the academic persona he
The particular focus of Rodriguez’s story is that in order to feel like he belonged to the “public society” he had to restrict his individuality. Throughout his story, Rodriguez discussed such topics as assimilation and heritage. He goes into depth about the pros and the cons of being forced to assimilate to the American culture. Growing up Hispanic in America was a struggle for Rodriguez. This was due to the fact that he was a Spanish-speaking boy living in an English-speaking society, and he felt like he was different than the other children. Rodriguez writes, “I was fated to be the ‘problem student’ in class” (Rodriguez 62). This is referring to Rodriguez’s improper knowledge of English. It made him stand out as the kid that was behind. He wanted to find the balance between the public and private face. He believed both were important to develop. As I read this story it changed the way I looked at people who speak different languages, and how it must be hard to fit in with society if you are not all fluent in English.
Richards essay describes how he has to “ trade” his Spanish language identity to find his “public” language identity . He remembers his parents trying their best to speak more English in their home to help their kids fit into society . He talks about how the fact that he lost one identity was worth the gain of the other identity he so longed for . “At last, seven years old, I came to believe what had been technically true since my birth: I was an American citizen” (454-455). It was at that moment that he knew for a fact that his whole life he was already an American citizen . To him beign an American citizen meant having an English language identity and being able to speak the public language. As a boy Rodriguez was able to only speak and understand the Spanish language . To him it was the only real identity he ever had growing up . He also discussed that because the Spanish language identity is developed among his family members. That the language is somehow responsible for how they were able to identify themselves
To begin with, Rodriguez’s first step to finding his identity began when his parents decided to move to the states to start a new life. At first, he was completely lost because he couldn’t understand the language. However, as time went by his English began to improve with the help of his parents helping him practice English at home. As he becomes more educated, he felt that a distance grew between him and his parents. “Here is a child who cannot forget that his academic success distances him from a life he loved, even from his own memory of himself” (Rodriguez 51). Rodriguez was connected with his family through his private identity. However, his distance with his parents began to appear as he advanced in English. As he starts to become fluent in English, he would talk to his parents less and less. His Spanish skills also started to deteriorate. Spanish is the language that gave him a sense of closeness to his family and is what separated him from the public. However, once he started to develop his public identity, he started losing his private identity. Rodriguez’s parents provided him with his own private identity and help him and supported him in developing his public identity to success.
As Rodriguez grows into an intellectual student, there is an apparent shift of authority in his life. He found himself to be ashamed his parents and instead yearned to be like his educated teachers. He notes, “I was not proud of my mother and father. I was embarrassed by their lack of education” (Rodriguez 538). In his early school years, Rodriguez often compared himself to his other classmates. American children have educated parents who can help with homework, Rodriguez does not have this relationship with his parents. For example, when trying to