Essay Example on Hunger of Memory is a book written by Richard Rodriguez in 1982








Of all the readings we have read to date in class about language there is one in particular that I have made a connection with Hunger of Memory is a book written by Richard Rodriguez in 1982 about his early life and education after his family migrated to the United States of America When he was admitted to the Roman Catholic School of elementary education he struggles to learn English since he came from a Mexican background that was only fluent in the Spanish language From what I have read of Richard Rodriguez I have learned about the complex and interesting relations that he developed with the English language Language is one of the most complex elements that is used in people s daily lives as a means of communication between individuals and the world around them One of the aspects that can be portrayed from Richard Rodriguez s Hunger of Memory is the aspect of culture Anyone who reads the book can immediately learn that language makes people open their minds to other s cultures When one learns a new language there is a change in the language tone that occurs It is because languages are spoken in different tones depending on the descent of the speaker

Therefore speaking a foreign language introduces one to the culture of the native speakers In the context of Hunger of Memory Richard Rodriguez was introduced to the new American culture by his efforts in learning English in school and reading English books since he had the desire to learn and improve his fluency in the English language For instance Rodriquez 1983 states that the nun said in a friendly but oddly impersonal voice boys and girls this is Richard Rodriguez It was the first time I heard anyone name me in English Richard the nun repeated more slowly p 9 From the text it can be noted that the Rodriguez had never heard his name called on that tone this indicates that he was being introduced to a new culture Additionally Rodriguez s change in environment and learning of new language made him understand the Americans more than he ever knew In fact Rodriguez 1983 states that my story discloses instead an essential myth of childhood inevitable pain If I rehearse here the changes in my private life after my Americanization it is finally to emphasize my public gain p 27 It implies that the relocation of the family made Rodriguez adapt to lifestyle and culture of the American people because there was no otherwise After reading the first chapter I felt I could somehow relate to the struggle Rodriguez was having in trying to assimilate to the mainstream culture I as well grew up in a Spanish speaking household similar to that of Rodriguez Spanish was my first language and the only language spoken at home I learned English with the help of my neighborhood friends and of course school 

My parents encouraged my sister and I to get an education and to succeed in everything we did They always wanted better for us and always tried to give us everything they never had growing up Eventually my sister and I became Americanized we blended in at school and a with all the neighborhood children all while going home to just speak Spanish Although my parents pushed my sister and I to become Americanized they never let us forget our Spanish culture I have never felt I had to assimilate to the mainstream culture and forget from where I came from Every visit I make to my mother s home today Spanish is the language spoken I am immensely proud to be bi cultural and I do not have to pretend to be someone I am not My parents have taught me well and I am grateful for it As I continue to read further I am becoming increasingly disappointed Rodriguez 1983 mentions As I grew fluent in English I no longer could speak Spanish with confidence p 28 From that text it leads me to believe that Rodriguez is ashamed of his roots and he has this notion that he is not able to fit in with his family due to the education he is attaining Rodriguez 1983 also later states A primary reason for my success in the classroom was that I couldn t forget that schooling was changing me and separating me from the life I enjoyed before becoming a student p 47 Perhaps I cannot grasp how schooling was changing him and separating him from the life he enjoyed In view of the fact that separating yourself from something you love and enjoy to me is clearly a choice I may have to continue to read the book to possibly change my option thus far and it s possible there is further explanation to his views and I am eager to find out In conclusion this is a point that would have an impact on many people out there that reside in locations that are not characterized by their culture

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