Aria Richard Rodriguez Analysis

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Richard Rodriguez, a Stanford graduate, writer, and teacher, in his essay, “Aria”(1981) argues that the education of bilingual disadvantaged children separates their private and public life, which is detrimental because it delays their development, entrance into public life, and assimilation. Rodriguez utilizes the juxtaposition of the languages of English and Spanish to establish his idea of the public and private life of bilingual children. In addition, Rodriguez displays the feelings exerted by bilingual children when using their traditional language by applying the syntactical element of isolation to his writing. Furthermore, he organizes the piece in chronological order in order to emphasize the detrimental and beneficial effects of focusing …show more content…
I first entered a classroom - able to understand about fifty stray English Words.” (Rodriguez, 1). A lack of knowledge regarding English alienates Rodriguez from the other students who were, by upbringing, given a head start in their English education. Rodriguez quickly develops the idea of conflicting ideas and worlds surrounding English and Spanish. As he had only spoken Spanish with his family it had become an immensely personal language to him, and since he had been raised speaking and hearing the language it was much safer than its linguistic counterpart. English, for Rodriguez, was surrounded in fear. When recalling his shyness and reluctance nature in class, Rodriguez reveals, “But I couldn’t believe that English could be my language to use.”(Rodriguez, 6). He uses the polar opposites of how he feels about Spanish and how he feels about English and applies them to the areas where they are in effect. For Spanish this is his house and has to do with family, this he refers to as the private life. For English, this is school, his neighborhood, and even his country, this he refers to as public life. He applies this to all bilingual children. The native language decides the parameters of their private life as the public language sets the parameters of the public life. He comes to this conclusion through analyzing the juxtaposition of his childhood feelings of Spanish and …show more content…
The structure of the piece revolves around the pairing of two increasingly larger ideas. Rodriguez begins by contrasting the sounds of the two languages, then the different feelings and connotations of the two languages, later the difference in public and private life, and lastly, in summation of all the previous ideas, the differences in focusing on either private or public life. This last largest idea is the most important to his purpose. In his memoir, Rodriguez writes chronologically focusing first on his early life, where he detailed the benefits of a focus on private life, and then his childhood maturing years, around seven to eight, where he details the benefits of a focus on public life. Although Rodriguez whimsically notes the warm feelings of belonging and closeness of his private focused life, he argues that it is important for bilingual children to be taught their public language and be thrust into public life, so they can develop, enter into public life, and assimilate, even if, as it was in his case, it is at the expense of private life. Ricardo Rodriguez multiple rhetorical strategies in order to bolster his point. The strategies he uses are intended to show the difference between Spanish and English, Public and Private life, and the results of the focus on either of the prior two ideas. The author intends to use examples from his own life to aid educators

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