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Richard Rodriguez’s “The Achievement of Desire” is a story within a story. Rodriguez sees in the fourteen-year-old-girl, the only person who is paying attention to what he says, the only person who grasps on his every word, who’s eyes shine with enthusiasm and ambition, the boy who once did the same things to his teachers. His parents were not interested in his education and the language barrier was only one of the many obstacles that stood between him and his parents. Once a student, Rodriguez began to live two different lives in two very different worlds. This difference is shown mainly through the different mentalities, those of his teachers and his parents. Once he stepped into that classroom, Rodriguez’s role models became his teachers. He came to idolize them. He spent more time with them than he spent with his parents. He spoke to his classmates more than he spoke to his family. Rodriguez successfully accomplishes the rhetorical tasks through the effective use of appealing to the author’s emotion, and other rhetorical tools by showing the changes that were made by Rodriguez because he devoted himself in school.
Rodriguez is present in two different ways in his essay; the school child Rodriguez, fully immersed in the educational system is the perfect example of the “scholarship boy”. He sets himself definite boundaries between school and home but doesn’t balance the two as he gives more importance to the instructive aspect rather than socializing with his family and friends, “the balance is lost”(217). In fact, he rarely mentions his social life and friends because he has no time for them. This passage appeals to the reader’s emotion because the author is successfully able to incorporate the separation that Rodriguez is s...

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...at ‘education’ tells him. And the effect of education has truly changed him to be who he is today, and that is an educated person who is separated from his original culture and family.
The figure of the scholarship boy is a very intriguing one. I personally believe that a scholarship boy in our times would be very different from a scholarship boy in Hoggart’s and even Rodriguez’s time. Rodriguez’s lack of personal reflection makes him submerge himself into educational matters with a different sense. This is proven by the fact that he does not create a personal opinion on things but rather imitates and reproduces what he learns. Rodriguez has significantly changed from the boy he used to be.

Works Cited

Rodriguez, Richard. "The Achievement of Desire." Trans. Array Rereading America . .

Sixth Edition. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin, 2004. 214-226. Print.
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