Analysis Of Richard Rodriguez's Hunger Of Memory

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In Richard Rodriguez’s autobiography Hunger of Memory he reviews his life and events that he believes affected him throughout his lifetime. Rodriguez argues in his text that the reason for his educational success came through severing himself from family and his culture. He also reviews beauty and how society’s standard of beauty affected his outlook on himself and those around him. Although his experiences are true; Rodriguez commits multiple fallacies in his writing including small sample, appeal to authority, suppressed evidence, and appeal to ignorance. First, Rodriguez believed that for a student to be an academic success the student had to sever ties with their family and culture; he defends this with personal stories of failed attempts …show more content…
He has a profound insight into his world and experiences; but he is unreliable. Rodriguez is only able to recount his own personal experiences growing up; which makes him a small sample. He is unable to speak for most of the people like him; although he cannot provide statistics or stories from other “scholarship” kids he does share stories as to why he felt he needed to keep his school life and family life separate. “And, unlike many middle-class children, he goes home and sees in his parents a way of life, not only different but starkly opposed to that of the classroom. (He enters the house and hears his parents talking in ways his teachers discourage)” (Rodriguez 50). Rodriguez also commits a suppressed evidence fallacy he 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”(Rodriguez 47). Rodriguez fails to bring relevant evidence to explain what was changing him and …show more content…
Rodriguez recalls a conversation with his sister. “She revealed her fear of dark skin to me only in adulthood when, regarding her own three children, she quietly admitted relief that they were light” (Rodriguez 124). Equally important is an interaction between his relatives, “with daring tenderness, one of my uncles would refer to his wife as mi negra. An aunt regularly called her dark child mi feito (my little ugly one)” (Rodriguez 125). So we have a clear understanding of how deep these cultural feelings were “children born dark grew up to have their faces treated regularly with a mixture of egg white and lemon juice concentrate” (Rodriguez 124). Throughout his life pressure was placed upon him due to him having dark skin, he was often offered outdoor hard labor. His mother worried for him because she feared that being in the sun would darken his complexion more. “Dark skin was for my mother the most important symbol of a life of oppressive labor and poverty” (Rodriguez 127). By accepting the claims his family makes regarding dark skin Richard commits an appeal to authority fallacy. He accepts what they are saying despite information confirming that dark skin is a sign of ugliness and

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