Rodriguez, Anzaldua, and the American Dream Essay

Rodriguez, Anzaldua, and the American Dream Essay

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Rodriguez, Anzaldua and the American Dream
I find it interesting that while Rodriguez and Anzaldua came from comparable backgrounds they feel very differently about similar issues. Rodriguez believes that education should not be bilingual for children who come from Spanish speaking homes. Anzaldua on the other hand thinks that people should not be squashing the culture of these people, and should do what they can to help them preserve it. I think that in that sense one could compare Anzaldua and Rodriguez to the idea of American culture, as each are one extreme of how we view it. On the one hand we have Anzaldua, the idea that America is a melting pot, combining all of the different cultures of the different people living here to come up with a new different stew, she is the idealized thought of how America is. On the other hand there is Rodriguez, who thinks that the only way to succeed is to assimilate to the culture that is there and give up your old culture, this is the more cynical, and in some ways, more realistic view.

Now Anzaldua is not completely oblivious to the fact that one has to, assimilate. This is proven by how well known and respected she is. In order to get to where she is she had to assimilate, just as Rodriguez did. However the difference is that while she was assimilating under duress, Rodriguez leapt at the chance to assimilate. Anzaldua while putting on a mask that matched the majority culture was still the same culture underneath. Rodriguez, on the other hand, changed the very culture he identified with. While she still identified with the culture that had managed to survive under oppression for hundreds of years, he flung off the culture of his immigrant parents and accepted the majority culture of Am...


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... the same underneath and compartmentalizing, he did so by becoming indistinguishable from the majority culture.
I find the differences between Anzaldua and Rodriguez to be interesting. Though they came from similar backgrounds, and went in similar directions they are exceedingly different. They both go into how and why they choose the path they did in their essays, and I believe that both of their ideas have merit. While Anzaldua is correct that in her writing she should be permitted to write as she wants, it is harder to get ones point across if they readers do not speak the language and have to translate every few sentences. And while Rodriguez is right and education changes us I don’t think that forcing everyone to go about their education the same way he did is the best, while it may have worked for him it will not necessarily work for others in his situation.

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