Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez Paper

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I.     FORECASTING  THESIS:  Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez the identity of Rodriguez at it was split between his own Mexican working-class background and his idealistic middle-class dream that he always wanted to achieve.  And the importance of English as perceived by Rodriguez in assisting with finally realizing his own true self and his social and financial success.

II Analysis:

A.   IDENTITY: divided identity created living in America as a working-class Mexican-American and trying to become a middle-class American.

  1. Ridicules parents as their working-class values and their ignorance but that is his own perception.
  2. He believes that he is being part of the middle class when he makes fun of his parents.
  3. The class is a more significant factor to him and when he becomes an educated public person be believes that he is no longer a working class individual and has arrived as a Middle-class person. This is symbolized by the Public Persona.
  4. The public-private divide is between the public and private identity, the private being the working class image and the  Middle class is the public persona which he covets and gets.

B.    LANGUAGE: the preference of English to Spanish is necessary and significant to be successful in America.

  1. Spanish is removed as the home language replaced by English
  2. This leads to a rift in the family between the parents and the children as the parents do not speak English well.
  3. This separation is offset by the confidence and development of Rodriguez and his siblings as they become successful but distant from their parents.
  4. It’s a trade-off that he seems satisfied with.


  1. Rodriguez succeeds in rejecting his own culture and heritage and background and adopting English and moving up the social ladder.
  2. In doing so he leaves his parents behind who have not developed with him and the isolation that began with the replacement of Spanish with English eventually leads to a time when he is unable to even recognize their action like the pride they feel about his success.

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