Tuesday, January 21, 2020

The Story of Richard Rodriguez Essays -- Immigration

Becoming an American requires adjustment to the English language and interacting with different people. In the essay â€Å"Aria: A Memoir of a Bilingual Childhood,† Richard Rodriguez illustrates the distinctions between individual and social identity as a Mexican immigrant. He explains individual identity through the process of considering himself as an American citizen. Rodriguez also acknowledges the necessity of assimilating into the American culture and the consequences that follow. Rodriguez describes individual identity through the process of allowing himself to become a member of American society. As a child, Rodriguez did not consider himself an American, but he quickly realized he could not achieve individuality until he accepted himself as a citizen. Rodriguez states, â€Å"In public, by contrast, full individuality is achieved, paradoxically, by those who are able to consider themselves members of the crowd† (283). Rodriguez explains that to gain complete individual identity, a person must consider him or herself as part of the group or society. Because Rodriguez cannot consider himself as a citizen, he cannot appreciate the values and traits of other people within his community. Therefore, Rodriguez will not view other people’s perspectives to acquire more knowledge about the society around him or seek out who he is to become a unique individual. Another example of how Rodriguez illustrates individuality by becoming a member of the American society occurs when he is able to seek the tools needed to speak English. Rodriguez writes, â€Å"Only when I was able to think of myself as an American, no longer an Alien in gringo society, could I seek the rights and opportunities necessary for full public individuality† (284). When Rodriguez ... ...izes that it will not be easy to hear his â€Å"intimate family voices† (284). Rodriguez explains the consequences of assimilation through social identity. Rodriguez acknowledges individuality by regarding himself as an American citizen. He also acknowledges social identity by viewing how he and his parents go through a difficult time learning English to communicate within their neighborhood. In addition, Rodriguez notices social identity when he is finally confident to speak the English language. In the end, the struggles Rodriguez experiences while adjusting to the American society only make him a stronger and triumphant individual. Work Cited Rodriguez, Richard. â€Å"Aria: A Memoir of a Bilingual Childhood.† The Arlington Reader Contexts and Connections. Ed. Lynn Z. Bloom And Louise Z. Smith. 3rd ed. Boston: Bedford/ St. Martin’s, 2011. 275-84. Print.

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