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Rodriguez writes in this essay his journey to achieve a successful career, His desire to become educated and successful career. His desire to become educated and successful inevitably force him to forget his culture and to separate himself from his family because he wanted to prove that he was better, this only created a serious conflict between his heritage and the new culture he became part of. Rodriguez makes his choice; he takes his first step toward academic success away from his family. He titles himself as a 'scholarship boy' because he was such a good student and he had such good grades that he got paid his tuition.
He comes from a very uneducated family, and he battles to break the bindings of mediocrity, and become an educated man. For Rodriguez being educated was a priority, even before his family or social life. He starts when he was in elementary school, he wanted to be different from his parents, and he wanted to be better. He finds that books are his tools; he uses them as his companions, he reads in his room for hours.
He said "Books are going to make me 'educated'." (Rodriguez, 663) In fact books did help him to achieve his goal. He worked really hard to achieve his goal, and he wrote in his essay how hard it was; "they scorn his desire to succeed. They scorn him for constantly waiting the teacher's attention to praise. 'Kiss Ass' they call him when his hand swings up in response to every question he hears." (Rodriguez, 665) He proved that being a scholarship boy wasn't easy. As he grew up, his desire to learn was getting bigger. "I grew increasingly successful, a talkative student, my hand was raised in the classroom." He enjoyed reading, however sometimes he read just for the pleasure of reading because he didn't understand what he was reading.
I found Rodriguez as a weird kid, I totally agree that being educated it's important but not to the point that he isolates himself from having a social life. Education is very important; you need to be educated to be successful but you also you need to relate and interact with people to have a social life. I disagree with him because he exaggerates when he tries to be so different and so radical, you can't learn everything from books, when you share with people, you will learn and experience new things that you will need to be successful. In his essay Rodriguez also writes about the shame and internal struggle that the scholarship boy feels towards his uneducated parents. The scholarship boy broke the bonds with his family and he gradually forgot his social and racial background as he became an educated man.
He built a wall between him and his parents, "I was not proud of my mother and father. I was embarrassed by their lack of education" (Rodriguez, 658) His parents made big efforts in order to help him to become successful. "They paid a tuition they couldn't afford. They speak English to us." (658) they were Mexican immigrants and maybe not as well educated, but that doesn't mean they were stupid. They made huge efforts to help their children, they paid good schools, they never made them work, and they gave them all that they need. They couldn't help them with homework, but they give their children all the support they needed.
"Late afternoon; in the midst of preparing dinner, my mother would come up behind while I was trying to read. He read just over mine, her breath warmly scented with food" (Rodriguez, 657) they wanted to have a closer relation with him but he refused to communicate. They also encouraged them, they wanted their children to be better, Rodriguez mom once said, "Get all the education you can." (658) it was true, they knew they didn't had a good education, but they still educated his children and they were so proud of them. Once when his parents where talking with his teacher, they said "we are proud of our children, they sure didn't get the brain from us." (Rodriguez, 658) I am against Rodriguez's attitude towards his family, especially towards his parents. He decides to grow up apart; he decides to separate them of his life.
I believe that your family it's the most important thing you can ever have, they are the only persons you can count no matter what, and they will always be there for you, to give you advice and support. Rodriguez's family gave him enormous support not only during his process of education but in his process of becoming a man. They knew that his son's dream was to achieve success and they let him be how he wanted to be. They gave their children the opportunity of become better persons. His cultural background was a big issue for Rodriguez. His culture made him felt embarrassed of who he really was, a Mexican-American.
He didn't like to be considered working-class boy. He hated when they consider him inferior, Rodriguez said: "there may be some things to things about him his beginnings -his shabby clothes, his persistent poverty, or his dark skin (in those cases when he symbolizes his parents disadvantaged condition)." (666) That's why he worked really hard to loose his accent and he read several numbers of books so everybody could see he was smart and dedicated he was. He lives between two totally different environments, his home and his school. His house was warm and nice, his parents were caring and they were always concerned about their children; and his school was the opposite, at the school he was lonely, and he only had the books. But that's what he liked, that's what he wanted. He didn't like his warm home; he liked the coldness and loneliness at school.
Rodriguez wrote, "Nights when relatives visited and the front rooms were warmed by Spanish sounds, I slipped quietly out of the house." (657) Rodriguez works really hard to loose any connection that relates him with his culture, the Hispanic culture. He starts since he was in elementary school, he wanted to be different from his parents, and since he was young he starts is process. "Proudly I announced my family's startled silence that the teacher had said I was losing all trace of Spanish accent." (Rodriguez, 653) he wanted to eliminate every single detail or characteristic of his culture, of the Hispanic culture. As he grew up his desire to be different also grew, and his parents were really concerned.
"More acute was her complaint that the family wasn't close anymore, like some others she knew. Why weren't we close, 'more in Mexican style'? Everyone is so private she added." (Rodriguez, 661) Although his culture tend to be close and it was based in talkative and tight relations, he decided to ignore that, He was the first one to leave home when he had the opportunity, no matter what he wanted to be away, he separate himself. I disagree with Rodriguez attitude, I don't think he had a good excuse to feel ashamed, he tried to find an excuse, but parent's mistake or defects were not an excuse to avoid his culture. I know that when you immigrate to another country you have to adopt some new customs, but you can maintain yours, because your culture is part of who you are.
I don't believe that he did it because he was young and immature, since he was in elementary he knew what he wanted, he knew what he had to do, and he was smart enough. I admire when someone has a goal and work hard to achieve it, but he forget to many important things on his way to success. He made many mistakes. However when he finally achieve what he wanted, he decide to come back. I don't think he was really changed; but being lonely motivates him to think and return to his family.
He is not an inspiration for me, because a really successful person is proud of being part of a certain culture and proud of his heritage.
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