Thoughts of Richard Rodriguez in the Second Chapter of His Book Memory Hunger Analysis

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Richard Rodriguez in chapter 2 of his book “Hunger of Memory” speaks and analyses his ain life. How from an early age he came to understand the alterations that occurred inside him. He chiefly refers to his experiences in school, opposed to the 1s he had at place.

Son of Mexican immigrants, Rodriguez was a propertyless kid. His parents had merely received the basic instruction, and as they struggled for a better life in the US, they came to recognize its importance. They excessively one time had dreams, that they left buttocks, as the necessity to cover basic demands and day-to-day weariness, stopped them from carry throughing them and made them bury. Naturally, they invested all their aspirations in their kids. They urged and pushed them into analyzing and come oning as they knew that a good instruction degree was the key to a better life.

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The younger boy, Richard Rodriguez, was someway different from his brother and sisters. Very early in his life he came to recognize the alterations that instruction brought upon him. He found himself torn between two universes: the one of school and the one of household life. He began to look up to his instructors and look upon them, more than his parents. He desired their cognition and authorization. As he mentions in the book “ … I began by copying their speech patterns, utilizing their enunciations, swearing their every direction”.

As a kid he came to love books and seek cognition. Education for him was a pick. He chose to go a good pupil. His household background became an obstruction. His parents ne’er read a book, could n’t assist him with his prep, would n’t read him bed clip narratives. His avidity to larn was relentless. Trying to concentrate he isolated himself from his parents. He began to experience ashamed for them, their degree of instruction, their poorness, their speech pattern, their presence. These feelings filled him up with guilt. He tries to maintain his household life and educational life separated as their cultural differences are excessively strong to follow. Finally the balance is lost.

His academic accomplishments really frequently conveying him confronting the same citation “Your parents must be really proud of you”. He hides his shame for the deficiency of instruction of his parents behind a smiling. He knows that they are proud of him, but is certain they do non understand him.

As he continues with his instruction, pass oning with his parents becomes more and more hard. They are trying to make out to him, inquiring him about his life, his college, but he finds no common linguistic communication to show himself and conceal his passion for his academic achievements behind simple words and phrases about things they understand.

He isolates himself. In order to be more educated and addition appraises from his instructors and professors he reads 100s of books, he seek isolation to concentrate. He becomes difficult on himself believing that instruction could non be gratifying. Subsequently on, at the terminal of his educational life, Rodriguez is able to look back in the yesteryear, to who he was, before he entered the schoolroom. He is now able to acknowledge that:

“A primary ground for my success in the schoolroom was that I could n’t forger that schooling was altering me and dividing me from the life I enjoyed before going a student.”  After research he identifies himself as what Richard Hoggart refers to in his book “The utilizations of Literacy” , a “scholarship boy” .

In this term he sees himself a male child, seeking to mentally cut himself off his household in order to “get on” . He sees how bad of a pupil he was, memorising information, non believing for himself but thirstily following the ideas of others and particularly those of his instructors. He saw the scholarship male child that no schoolmate and even some instructors liked. He recognizes the hyperbole in his enthusiasm for instruction.

Confronting his fright to hanker for the yesteryear, he attempts to return place and spends clip with his parents. Still filled with emotional uncertainness his return place is a measure of making back to his paths. Searching for that feeling of belonging he does n’t concentrate on the differences that made him one time feel ashamed of them, alternatively he starts acknowledging their similarities.

It does non take him long to understand that the alterations that schooling brought upon him are so deep, that all his actions, desires and ideas are dictated by his academic background. Beautifully given, Richard Rodriguez, captures the battle of a kid and subsequently on grownup to cut off from his household environment in order to seek patterned advance.

The struggle between the emotional bonds with the household and the exhilaration of cognition frequently makes kids reject the authorization of parents, believing less of them, idealising instructors and fills them with of feelings of shame and guilt. Normally non even admitted, Rodriguez bravely identifies himself as a “scholarship boy” , that at the terminal of his educational calling comes to recognize, that all that he is, all that he has done, no affair how hard he tries to get away it, is the result of the alterations that schooling caused him.

It takes a batch of strength and deepest cognition of oneself, in order to be able to look back and delve into your childhood. It is a fact that pupils are normally confused when they foremost go to school. They face a whole new universe, with different regulations and function theoretical accounts.

Particularly for the working category kids, the cultural differences are so strong, that most kids find it difficult to wholly suit in schooling environment, stoping up with the minimal instruction. Behavior and linguistic communication used at place, is normally the one discouraged at school. In order to win in schooling the kid is obligated to seek isolation and to increasingly cut off from the household. Traveling through this painful process, kids are sometimes able to equilibrate these two different universes of their life, sometimes they are non.

Education alterations us all, other more, others less. Yet the 1s largely affected are the 1s that are able to understand and place at that peculiar clip that the alteration occurs. This is a freighting experience, particularly for a kid that still needs the emotional support from its household and yet is excited to research all the chances of cognition that are in front.


  1. This citation is from Richard Rodriguez, Hunger of Memory, chapter 2: The Achievement of Desire

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