Summary Of Richard Rodriguez's Achievement Of Desire

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Our education system is perhaps one of the most complex institutions in the United States. Students are taught to be their most authentic selves but yet are told to think a certain way. In reality, students really don’t have the freedom to be their genuine identity. Our society tells us that a typical student speaks the language, excels in all areas of study, and loves to read. Children who do not fit this mold are often at a disadvantage and do not attain the same acceptance. In the essay, “Achievement of Desire” Richard Rodriguez was a first generation immigrant from Mexico. His parents spoke little English, and had no education. Automatically, his family is an outcast. Throughout Rodriguez’s schooling career he learned to fit the perfect mold of the “typical” American student. He finds himself to be in an internal struggle between social versus family isolation, authenticity and finding his place in the American society.

As Rodriguez grows into an intellectual student, there is an apparent shift of authority in his life. He found himself to be ashamed his parents and instead yearned to be like his educated teachers. He notes, “I was not proud of my mother and father. I was embarrassed by their lack of education” (Rodriguez 538). In his early school years, Rodriguez often compared himself to his other classmates. American children have educated parents who can help with homework, Rodriguez does not have this relationship with his parents. For example, when trying to

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