Rodriguez, Anzaldua and the American Dream
I find it interesting that while Rodriguez and Anzaldua came from comparable backgrounds they feel very differently about similar issues. Rodriguez believes that education should not be bilingual for children who come from Spanish speaking homes. Anzaldua on the other hand thinks that people should not be squashing the culture of these people, and should do what they can to help them preserve it. I think that in that sense one could compare Anzaldua and Rodriguez to the idea of American culture, as each are one extreme of how we view it. On the one hand we have Anzaldua, the idea that America is a melting pot, combining all of the different cultures of the different people living here to come up …show more content…
Both were trying their best to cope with the fact that the they’re schools would not let them speak Spanish, as Anzaldua says, “I remember being caught speaking Spanish at recess-that was good for three licks on the knuckles with a sharp ruler. I remember being sent to the corner of the classroom for “talking back” to the Anglo teacher when all I was trying to do was tell her how to pronounce my name. “If you want to be American, speak ‘American.’ If you don’t like it, go back to Mexico where you belong.” Both solutions have merits and downsides. Anzaldua still has her culture from when she was a child. She therefore can still be as close to her family. However she now has to constantly defend her culture from other people, and she has to speak in a manner other than the one she is most comfortable with. Rodriguez has the ability to speak in the manner he is most comfortable, as English, specifically Standard Written English, is the language he made himself most comfortable with. However he has lost the connection he had with his family, and seemingly just his ability to connect to people easily to a certain degree as well. I say this because he talked about how one day he looked up from studying only to find he did not know any of the people who he saw all the time, that the accomplishment he felt was hollow, and not as he thought it
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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
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.
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
“My Spanish Standoff” by Gabriella Kuntz explains how the fear of prejudice against Latin America in the United States led her and her husband to avoid speaking and teaching their children Spanish. One reason that she decides not to teach her native language to her children is because she saw how the Anglo-Saxons in the community treated her because of her dark complexion, brown eyes and black hair. Another reason, she mentions involves the fact that her children developed accents and were unable to understand either language completely. Because of this, Kuntz decides only to speak to them in English to prevent others from criticizing her children for speaking with broken grammar and thick accents. She believes
By contrast, Richard Rodriquez, in his article entitled "Aria", strongly believes in surrendering to learning the proper English language, despite how strongly he feels his native tongue is a private language that once functioned to unite his family. Rodriguez creates a division of a public and a private discourse. He feels that he has a right to learn the public language of los gringos'. He creates a visual clash of two worlds: a public world as represented by school and the need to learn English; and a private world as represented by his family and the use of Spanish within the home. He feels that in order to adapt and create assimilation that he needs to abandon the comfort of using Spanish to communicate and force himself to learn English even if it meant alienating his family members.
In the book Enrique’s Journey the author Sonia Nazario depicts a story of a young boy whose mother leaves him at the age of 4. He is on a quest to find his mother in the USA facing hard obstacles throughout this journey. Sonia Nazario writes about Enrique’s experiences and it serves as an explanation on how people try to accomplish the American Dream. According to Dictionary. com the American dream is “ the ideal that every USA citizen should have an equal opportunity to achieve success and prosperity through hard work, determination, and initiative.” To better comprehend the book there were other sources: This is Life, starring Vincent Chou, the poem Let America Be America Again the documentary Immigration Battle and the narrative Which Way Home. Some topics that will be based off this information are money, poverty and family.
Anzaldúa provides various Spanish languages to identify her Chicana identify, she provides the different Spanish languages to compare and contrast one another to provide not only her experience for the challenges immigrants face, but to put those in her shoes when growing up in America, not knowing every English word there is to know. The language uses Anglicism, words borrowed from the English language (Anzadúa 475). Anzaldúa compares and contrasts that her Chicana identity isn’t too much different; it’s a evolution of both her background and her adaptation of
Through everybody’s eyes is their own version of the American Dream. Whether it’s the stereotypical dream with a good job, a family, and a house with a white picket fence, or it could be just getting by at the end of the month financially. The American Dream doesn’t have a specific image but rather a particular mindset. Lots of people have a goal in their life that they have to work hard to be successful towards that goal, but in most cases that goal may be unrealistic.
Anzaldua persuades her audience of Chicanos by her examples of her credibility. She is told many times that she needs to be able to speak Spanish without an accent. This affected her when she was younger a lot. She was not able to speak Spanish at school without her teacher telling her “If you want to be American, speak American! If you don’t like it, go back to Mexico where you belong.” She also had to fight with her mother about this because she wanted Anzaldua to not have the accent. She would tell her “I want you to speak English. Pa’ hallar buen trabajo tienes que saber hablar el ingles bien. Que vale toda tu educacion si todavia hablas ingles con un accent.” This translated to “To find good work you must know how to speak English well. That is worth all your education if you still speak English with an accent.” Anzaldua explains how she was mortified of this because she spoke English like a Mexican. She explains that she had to take two classes in order to get rid of her accents. She went on to become a teacher in 1971 and she was teaching High School English to Chicano
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
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.
Balancing out two different cultures can be burdensome. It can cause a roadblock to assimilating to the new culture just as it did for Changez for wanting to belong. Language is also a fundamental aspect for belonging and it can also conflict with one's identity. In How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, language played a huge part in their lives and identities as Dominicans growing up in America. When they first immigrated, language and sexuality are the two most troubling aspects of their cultural displacement. Each sister had a different perspective on learning the new language and also embracing it. Yolanda, the third sister out of the four, developed a sensitive yet troublesome feeling through English. In her years in America, she endured
Anzaldua takes great pride in her language, “So if you want to really hurt me, talk badly about my language. Ethnic diversity is twin skin to linguistic identity – I am my language” (p89). She states that her language is a part of herself so when you insult Chicano it’s like a strike to the heart of Anzaldua. Anzaldua goes on to explains that although Chicanos all over the US speak different dialects of Chicano Spanish, they are still all Chicanos. Just because the language varies a little does not diminish its authenticity. People who speak a variation on a language should not be ashamed because they speak a little differently. “There is the quiet of the Indian about us. We know how to survive. When other races have given up their tongue we’ve kept ours. We know what it is to live under the hammer blow of the dominant norteamericano culture. but more we count the blows, we count the days the weeks the years the centuries the aeons until the white laws and commerce and customs will rot in the deserts they’ve created” (p93). She strongly urges Los Chicanos to not give up their culture and endure. She believes that the will of their culture will outlast any obstacle they encounter and demands that they not give in to the temptation to conform.
Salma Valgarma Hayek-Jimenez was born on the 2nd of September 1966, in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, Mexico. Salma’s first name is Arabic for "peace" or "calm". When she was a child she became inspired to be an actress after seeing ‘Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.’ Salma was raised in a wealthy Roman Catholic family by her Spanish mother and Lebanese father. When she was 12 she was sent to the Academy of the Sacred Heart in New Orleans, Louisiana, where she pulled pranks on the nuns by setting their clocks back three hours. She was then soon expelled. Salma then moved back to Mexico and attended Mexico City's Universidad Iberoamericana, and then she really wanted to peruse her acting career seriously.
According to Rodriguez, one’s private identity is the way a person behaves when alone, and how that person views his or herself as an individual. In contrast, the public identity is how the public believes a person should act. Rodriguez grew up in the U.S., but was not a native English speaker. He often struggled in his younger years to communicate with his classmates and teachers. Rather than critiquing the system thrust upon him, Rodriguez seems almost grateful that his teachers did not sugarcoat his transition from Spanish to English. He reflects, “What I needed to learn in school was that I had the right -- and the obligation -- to speak the public language of los gringos” (19). Unlike Espada, Rodriguez accepts that he must adjust to English or be left behind by society. However, Rodriguez’s transition was not without its costs. Near the end of his essay, Rodriguez remarks, “But the special feeling of closeness at home was diminished... Gone was the desperate, urgent, intense feeling of being at home; rare was the experience of feeling myself individualized by family intimates” (24). Rodriguez’s family was also isolated by the language barrier, resulting in a close bond between them. However, when Rodriguez and his family learned English, this close bond that stemmed from their linguistic isolation was no longer necessary, and eventually eroded away. By fulfilling his public identity, Rodriguez lost part of his private