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Rodriguez, Anzaldua, and the American Dream Essay

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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
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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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