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The Land Of Opportunity Essay

1181 words - 5 pages

Andrei KomlevExpo E-254/8/08The Land Of OpportunityAll around the world America is known to be the country of freedom and prosperity. People travel from all corners of the world to fight for a piece of what this country has to offer. What many do not understand is that the struggle doesn't end when one arrives here. Maintaining one's cultural identity in a foreign land is difficult, forcing many to acculturate and let their native identity slip into the background. In their essays Richard Rodriguez and Gloria Anzaldua are able to express how isolating it can be trying to preserve their own culture in a foreign land. Maintaining one's roots in a foreign land is much harder than most think. Although both authors deal with problems of being minorities in Anglo-America, the struggles they face and their reactions in handling the situations differ greatly.The essay "The Achievement of Desire" by Richard Rodriguez is a piece that spoke to the challenge of a white man's education in a Latino boy's world. The author described a world where the more he learned, the farther he was pulled away from his roots. While attending school Rodriguez tried to acculturate himself to the American world and also quench his thirst for knowledge. His story spoke of shame he associated with his less educated parents and his struggle to achieve recognition in a foreign land. His story is told through the eyes of a "scholarship boy", a model student trying to thrive academically while distancing himself from his heritage' (Rodriguez, 565). In his eyes, these two worlds could not coexist. An education, he thought, was a means to have a better life than that of his parents. His conflict arose when he realized the educational world is far removed from working class Latino's values. The more knowledge he craved, the farther he was pushed into the white man's world, causing more distance to be placed between his family and himself. "I spoke to classmates and teachers more often each day than to family members" (Rodriguez, 567). It became too hard for him to find a balance between these very different worlds, so Rodriguez chose to surrender his cultural identity for his education. By choosing that path he eliminated all the puddles on his road of success and adoption to a new culture. As the story progressed the author developed a very strong feelings of nostalgia and loss that only furthered his desire to find a place to fit in. Unfortunately, for many years he believed his place was among the educated white men, but by the end of his education, however, he realized that what he lacked was a true connection to his history and background.Gloria Anzaldua had a quite contrary belief to that of Richard Rodriguez. She believes that someone's culture and identity shouldn't be surrendered under any circumstances, but rather be defended. In her essay "How to Tame a Wild Tongue" Anzaldua described a world that was not only divided into Latino's and Americans, but one that was further...

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