“hunger Of Memory” By Richard Rodriguez

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“Hunger of Memory” by Richard Rodriguez

“Hunger of Memory” by Richard Rodriguez


“The Hunger of Memory” is an autobiography by Richard Rodriguez, an American writer, who belonged to Hispanic minority and succeeded in establishing his identity as American. Rodriguez is one of the writers who perused their career on their own. He choose to write as freelance writer, and started his writing career with his book, “Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez” (1982). This is the autobiography about his childhood experiences and social neglects as he belonged to minority. He voiced all the troubles in his life that were faced by him during early childhood and education. He also shared how he developed intellectually despite all the negative social aspects. He worked as a teacher, journalist, and educational consultant. He was Spanish speaker and he felt alienated in the American culture. Richard Rodriguez was migrated to the United States at early childhood and he stated his education by attending the Roman Catholic elementary school. He also discussed bilingualism in educational context and reflected his ideas on the economic or class aspects, which also affect educational system. In this book, Rodriguez addressed various social, cultural, economic, educational, and language issues that were faced by the minorities and immigrants. Rodriguez not only discussed these issues, but also reflected on how these factors contributed in his intellectual growth and development from a socially disadvantaged poor boy to the “middle-class American man”


Richard Rodriguez had Mexican American parents with Spanish descent, migrated to the United States. Rodriguez and his siblings were very young and they tried to settle in the new environment. Despite difficulties, they faced various social and cultural problems in order to adjust in their new setting. Rodriguez discussed how he faced problems with his lack of linguistic ability and bilingualism was one of the major concerns. These problems were not only faced in the educational context, but his parents and people from other minorities were also facing difficulties in order to establish their social and cultural identity. According to Niemann (2002) Rodriquez reconstructed his Mexican past in order to establish his own identity. Education assisted Rodriguez in order to deal with social, cultural, class, political, and linguistics biases; and he finally succeeded in assimilating in American culture and society, but it resulted in alienating him from his own culture, family, and parents. This resulted in separation of Rodriguez from his parents. There was big difference between his parents' views and Rodriguez's as there was huge space between social and cultural identity. His parents could not assimilate themselves in American culture, his father describe English speaking Americans with “bitterness and distrust” (Rodriguez, 1983, p.22).

Racial and Ethnic Issues in Education

Rodriguez discussed various ethnic and racial problems in education, which were faced by him and many other students. He discussed that various opportunities were available for him in order to overcome his linguistic opportunities. He read literature, he had better schooling, he had English speaking environment, and he had American ...
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