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Response 5
May 16, 2012, 11:10 pm
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Richard Rodriguez story “Hunger of Memory: Aria” closely relates to what Tanya Golash-Boza saying is her article when talking about the second path in assimilation. In Richard Rodriguez story about growing up we learn that he is of Mexican descent and he had a lot of trouble growing up and trying to identify with what he knew at home to what he would have to deal with in the outside world. Richard had a hard time being able to adjust to his surrounding especially because he lived in what Tanya Golash-Boza would call a “white American” society, and was not fluent with the English language so automatically felt like an outsider. This was something that made Richard feel uncomfortable when he had to face the outside world, and he speaks to us about this experience in his story.

I’d rarely leave home all alone or without reluctance. Walking down the sidewalk, under the canopy of tall trees, I’d warily notice the –suddenly—silent neighborhood kids who stood warily watching me. Nervously, I’d arrive at the grocery store to hear there the sounds of the gringo—foreign – reminding me that in this world so big, I was a foreigner. But then I’d return. Walking back toward our house, climbing the steps from the sidewalk, when the front door was open in the summer, I’d hear voices beyond the screen door talking in Spanish. For a second or two, I’d stay, linger there, listening. Smiling, I’d hear my mother call out, saying in Spanish (words): ‘Is that you Richard?’ All the while her sounds would assure me: You are home now; come closer; inside. With us (1579).

Here we can see first-hand what Tanya Golash-Boza said in her article that for some non-white Americans it can be easier to assimilate but “Hispanic Americans are often assumed to be foreigner” making it difficult for them to blend in. Richard felt that outside his home he was seen as a “foreigner” because he didn’t know English and he didn’t look like the “gringos” that lived in his community. Richard didn’t feel comfortable leaving his home where everything was familiar and warm to him, and go outside and wonder what people are saying and thinking about him. It must have been very hard for him growing up not being able to express himself the way he wanted to until he was home. Tanya Golash-Boza also mentions in her article that a lot of times when Hispanics don’t assimilate they give up in fitting in to U.S. mainstream, which is what Richard is doing by not wanting to go out and get out of his shell. I think it is funny that he says “I’d arrive at the grocery store to hear there the sounds of the gringo—foreign – reminding me that in this world so big, I was a foreigner” because just like he thinks he is being seen as a foreigner he is also looking at the “gringo” the same way, so I think he could have used that to somehow feel better that he isn’t the only one being seen like that, although the “foreigner” is a part of the larger population. Richard also mentions that looking back on his childhood he is now more embarrassed to feel the way he felt back then because it was something so small compared to what was going on in the bigger picture.

 After this PIE I plan to talk about another part of the story when he talks about how the communication with his parents began to decrease because of the language difference, and I’m going to tie it back to her article.

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Good start. I suggest doing a few things to make this sound more formal. First, imagine your audience is the same as that of the Golash-Boza article. In other words, imagine that your article (your final essay) is for publication in that journal. Next, refer to Rodriguez’s text as autobiography and also as narrative rather than story.

The parent-child power relations/relationships could be very important to understanding some of the pressures of assimilation to the mainstream and the loss of heritage languages through schooling.

5 out of 5 possible points.

   salvarez 05.18.12 @ 2:48 pm





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