Hunger of Memory

2061 Words Mar 8th, 2015 9 Pages
Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodríguez

Hunger of Memory is an autobiography of the writer Richard Rodríguez and his transition from youth to manhood told through a series of recollected stories. The premise of his writing was centered mainly on his struggle to maintain both his Mexican heritage and closeness to his Spanish-speaking family, while at the same time being assimilated into American culture and obtaining an advanced education. Within the book Richard Rodríguez illustrates his contempt for affirmative action and bilingual education, two practices that had directly burdened his life while growing up. One of his main conflicts was grounded in his own family unintentionally being pulled away from him by
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One significant point in his life was when he worked in construction for a summer. This was the first time he allowed his skin to become dark. He was astonished to learn that many of his colleagues had college diplomas. They did not fit into his preconception that all workers were poor because in fact, many of them were middle to upper class. Following that summer, he declared "the curse of physical shame was broken by the sun; I was no longer ashamed of my body." In 1967 African American civil rights leaders brought attention to the mediocre education that black students in high school were receiving and how it was not properly preparing them for college. This also sparked Hispanic-American activists to complain that there were not enough Hispanics attending college, concluding that this too was because of racism. Soon after many African American and Hispanic American sit-ins, protests and marches for change in the school systems, Rodríguez was offered numerous financial and academic opportunities to help carry him through his college career.

After graduating from college, Rodríguez went on to find himself a teaching job, though many schools ended up proactively seeking him out for employment without his prior inquiry. An overwhelming wave of career opportunities came flooding towards him, hailing from
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