Essay on Richard Rodriguez, "The Achievement of Desire": Analysis

1405 Words Oct 3rd, 2011 6 Pages
Stephanie Li
Professor Pines
Rhetoric 101
8 October 2011
Word Count: 1394
Rodriguez’s Transformation: Developing a “Sociological Imagination” In his essay, “The Achievement of Desire,” Richard Rodriguez informs readers that he was a scholarship boy throughout his educational career. He uses his own personal experiences, as well as Richard Hoggart’s definition of the “scholarship boy,” to describe himself as someone who constantly struggles with balancing his life between family and education, and ends up on the side of education. In recognizing himself as a “scholarship boy,” he shows that he has gained what sociologist C. Wright Mills terms the “sociological imagination,” which “enables its possessor to understand the larger
…show more content…
When Rodriguez is in London, he reads Richard Hoggart’s The Uses of Literacy, and is able to see himself in the essay. We see that he gains a “sociological imagination” and that he realizes that he fits the definition of the “scholarship boy” when he says that he “realized that there were other students” (517) like him. Hoggart says that this type of student must be “more and more alone” (517) in order to succeed, and that this student must “cut himself off mentally, so as to do his homework, as well as he can” (517). Rodriguez shows us that he not only grasps what the “scholarship boy” is, but he also understands what the “scholarship boy” goes through because of personal experience. Although he agrees with Hoggart’s definition, Rodriguez also adds to the meaning of the “scholarship boy” by giving his readers the insight of exactly what they go through, how they think, and why they do what they do. For example, he shows readers that he is forced to be “more and more alone” (517) by writing about how his relationship with his parents is weakened, and how the books he reads makes him feel lonelier. This insight not only asserts Hoggart’s definition of the “scholarship boy,” but also lengthens and specifies it. Rodriguez also shows us that he has gained the “sociological imagination” by writing about his appreciation and understanding
Open Document