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
Correspondingly, Vargas has not only immersed himself into his new culture, but learned to love it as well. He “built a career as a journalist, interviewing some of the most famous people in the country” (Vargas). Even though he is living the American dream, he is also “living a different kind of reality… in fear of being found out (Vargas).” Because of his status, it is hard to live a “normal” life. Even with all he has done to “earn” citizenship, he is still unrecognized as
When I asked about an outstanding role model, he said his mother has been his rock though his transition. He always calls her throughout the week, just to hear her voice. He said community in Guatemala is a tighter knit community, compared to the US. He mentioned the sense of individualism in America. He still has a hard time understanding this mindset since it’s such a polar opposite of his hometown. Juan realized he wanted to leave Guatemala in 2006 and spent that time to make his way to the US. He originally came to the US to become a priest. He made his way to the US when a position as a priest opened up. I asked Juan the hardest thing about moving to America. He said it was learning English. He arrived to the Jackson airport knowing no English at all. The first weeks for Juan were extremely difficult for him. Once he arrived to the University of New Orleans, he began an intensive English class in order to learn the language. He learned the language in about a year and could actually hold a conversation. Juan’s time as priest was a difficult task as he expressed in the interview. He had to juggle many responsibilities and at the same time make many different people happy.
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.
As a legal immigrant and international student who has been through the many processes to receive a visa to study and live in the United States, looking for a better opportunity and a better education, I am aware of the hardships and difficulties that many of the legal and illegal immigrants have to overcome in order to become legal immigrants. My perception on migration issues was already shocking, but I never had the chance to read and get to know through a book, the real stories of individuals who have encounter problems during their lives. Fish’s story is one of the most shocking ones. Fish was an amazing goalkeeper for “Los Jets” who had struggled a lot during his past, and once he crossed the border in order to find a better life, he left everything he achieved behind, and he crossed the border back to Mexico to visit his grandmother who was sick and died later. His example made me appreciate more the fact that I am a very lucky woman because I was given an opportunity to come to the United States and become a better
Latino culture is one which is very much based in community and in family. Molina has only his father as family and that is a tentative relationship at best. He is disconnected from his cultural community in this new place. He is trying to get away from the “wetback” life. Molina is seeking an opportunity
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
First of all, the setting of this novel contributes to the Rivera family’s overall perception of what it means to be an American. To start this off, the author chooses a small American city where groups of Latino immigrants with their own language and traditions, lived together in the same apartment building. All these immigrants experienced similar problems since they moved from their countries. For example, in the novel after every other chapter the author
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
Rodriguez took on tremendous amount of responsibility for these changes. He took more responsibility than he probably should have; due to circumstances beyond his control he reached the stage he was in. Rodriguez portrayed this feeling when he mentioned, “I felt that I had shattered the intimate bond that had once held the family close. This original sin against my family told whenever anyone addressed me in Spanish and I responded confounded.” (231) His family members and his Americanization had taken that bond away. He felt that losing his ability to speak Spanish removed his ability to communicate with his family on an intimate level. Spanish used to be a secret bond between them and what tied them together.
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.
Staring down at the baby; my baby in his little plastic box, I was overcome by a fear I had never felt before. I would later find out that his box was called and isolate, a special bed for premature babies. His eyes were covered with gauze, he had a tube in his nose that was assisting his breathing, and he was so small. Awestruck, I watched his slight movements. His mouth moved as if he was searching for something. His tiny hands grasped for something to hold on to. I slowly reached my finger to his hand and he clutched it with all of his little might. His grasp sent shock waves of love through my body that I had never experienced in my life. I was a mother.
The transition from grade school to SLUH has been anything but easy. Although I am extremely grateful to be a part of such a great tradition which is at SLUH, I have found myself in circumstances that I never had to face in the past. I thought, “How am I going to be able to manage time? I’ve always wanted to go to SLUH, but what do I need to do to be successful here?” The homework can sometimes be challenging, mainly because I do not start it until after football. However, I do not stress about it too much because I know that other people who are playing a sport go through the same thing. On the other hand, I know that journeying through adversities are part of growing up and that everybody has to face some kind of challenge to become a better person.