“Richard Rodriguez: A Bilingual Childhood” Essay

1380 Words6 Pages
“Richard Rodriguez: A Bilingual Childhood”
For more than 300 years, immigrants from every corner of the globe have settled in America, creating the most diverse and heterogeneous nation on Earth. Though immigrants have given much to the country, their process of changing from their homeland to the new land has never been easy. To immigrate does not only mean to come and live in a country after leaving your own country, but it also means to deal with many new and unfamiliar situations, social backgrounds, cultures, and mainly with the acquisition and master of a new language. This often causes mixed emotions, frustration, awkward feelings, and other conflicts. In Richard Rodriguez’s essay “Aria: Memoir of a Bilingual Childhood”, the author
…show more content…
On the one hand, English was the language used to communicate with outsiders. It was a tool for survival and held no personal meaning. It was crucial for public success. On the other hand, in Richard Rodriguez’s own words: “Spanish was associated with closeness”. By reading the previous passage, we can clearly infer that Spanish was the key to Richard’s confort. Hearing Spanish brought Rodriguez feelings of love, acceptance, family, and security. Spanish was a reminder of home and seemed to him a private language. In other words, he was surrounded by a web built by the family love and security which is conveyed by using the Spanish language, as the following passage shows: “...Spanish seemed to me the language of home...It became the language of joyful return...”. Moreover, if we consider the following passage:”You belong here. We are family members. Related. Special to one another” it is possible to say that Spanish language made Rodriguez felt as part of his family, creating a feeling of belonging and reinforcing family ties and ethnic heritage.
Another effect to take into account is Richard’s relationship with his parents. As time went by, language became a real problem for him and together with this, Rodriguez developed negative feelings towards his family. English seemed odd and difficult for Richard until a few of his teachers visited his house. In order to improve Richard’s master of English
Get Access