ERIC Number: ED216807
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981
Reference Count: 0
The Success of a Mexican American Immigrant: An Examination of Richard Rodriguez's "Hunger of Memory."
Riley, Michael N.
Richard Rodriguez's "Hunger of Memory," which describes his journey from a bilingual, socially disadvantaged child, the son of Mexican immigrant working class parents, to Doctor of English literature, university professor and author, is examined to provide a deeper understanding of what makes the assimilation process happen, what it costs, and why it does not happen for many Mexican Americans. The paper discusses Richard's feelings of culture shock; alienation from the public and family; embarrassment and denial of his past; break from the Mexican culture; hard work as he tries to establish his future; imitation of the cultural values of American middle class; encouragement and acceptance by his new world; feelings of emptiness once he has achieved success; attempt to return to his cultural roots to find a more satisfying meaning to his existence; his discovery of the vast separation that has been created, and will remain irrevocably intact, by the assimilation process. The reasons why Richard became an individual success while other Mexican Americans fail to achieve success are discussed (i.e., his parents' aspirations and definite ideas about their social class, their break with the Mexican culture, Richard's early exposure to the better life, and his private school experiences). (NQA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Hunger of Memory; Rodriguez (Richard)