Richard Rodriguez Hunger Of Memory Analysis

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A Journey of Self-Discovery:
Who am I?
Postwar America, in the 1960’s leaves thousands of immigrants creating their own families in the United States. It leaves first-generation Americans with the question, what am I? Am I American? Am I for example Mexican? Can I be both?
America makes them decide between one and the other to create their own self identities. In Richard Rodriguez’s Hunger of Memory, we go through Richard’s journey on discovering his own identity, as a son of Mexican immigrants born in the
United States. It’s about his struggle to find his own voice, in a society that alienates him, for sounding different. He grows up speaking only Spanish, and has to learn how to assimilate to fit into American society by learning English. He fights
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This can happen easily by education, and taking advantage of opportunities given to you. For example in Hunger of Memory by
Richard Rodriguez, Richard took advantage of his education and learned as much as he could. He became an expert in the public language English, which in itself gave him more opportunities then his parents. Language gave him the chance to be able to find his own identity, outside his heritage. But in finding himself, he made two personas, his public persona main stream society saw, the man who majored in
English, and read Shakespeare, vs. the man who missed his childhood, and having
Spanish connect his family. The journey of self-discovery was a long one for Richard, it was a road filled with hardships and estrangement. It was jam-packed with loneliness and isolation at times but without language he wouldn’t have gained the power to be able to speak for himself and create his own identity.
Works Cited:
Selena - Trailer. Dir. Gregory Nava. Perf. Jennifer Lopez. Warner Bros., 1997. 1:20-2:03
Rodriguez, Richard. Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez:
An Autobiography. Boston, MA: D.R. Godine, 1982.

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