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Reading Critique Richard Rodriguez

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Reading Critique: Richard Rodriguez
In this essay, we shall answer a series of questions related to Richard Rodriguez’s book “Aria: Memoirs of a Bilingual Childhood”. To keep the piece consistent and cohesive, we shall answer them separately.
Explain the title’s relationship to the rest of this piece. Apparently, the title relates to the piece. In the essay, Rodriguez speaks about his relationship with Spanish. In the same way, the title refers to the experience the author had growing up in two environments. He chose English culture as a way to gather the potential of the American culture instead of feeling separated.
What is the turning point that made Rodriguez decide to start learning “classroom English?” At first, Rodriguez was unable to communicate adequately in English. It was not until he began to fall behind in English that the nuns noticed that fact and told his parents to start speaking English to their children
Describe the feeling the “dark-faced old woman” on the bus evoked in Rodriguez. The encounter made Rodriguez long for what he thought had lost. From the moment he started using English at his house, his vision toward Spanish also changed; it sounded alien to him, but it evoked his heritage and some roots he did not think his.
What does the author mean by referring to Spanish as a “private language”? He does not consider that bilingual education should exist because the cultural language is one thing different than the language we have inherited. In that way, he believes that having learned Spanish since he was a small child, and only in a family setting; it became private, something that is only for the house and the family.
According to the author, in what two ways is a person individualized? Strictly speaking, he considers that individuals make their path regardless the culture they live in. That is why many Mexican-Americans have turned their back to him considering him a pocho, or a traitor to his roots. When a person can find themselves even without a culture; that is being an individualized individual.
What were the initial changes the author noticed taking place regarding his parents after the “Americanization” process began? Regarding his siblings? Regarding himself? He started to feel Spanish as alien. Instead of being the everyday language, it became something different. In the same way, its relation to the world changed. His brothers, ho were more reluctant at first, also gained full competence in English and even spoke in English among themselves. In the same way, Richard became an attentive student, excelling and getting better grades.
Explain the paradox that the author mentions about the process of achieving individuality in public. When the author finally started to grasp English, he did not know where to go. He did not feel American, but he did not feel Mexican either. Instead, he was “free”, and without a culture. That is why he focused on being Richard, just him. Neither a Mexican nor an American.

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