In the book "hunger of memory", RR says "i have stolen there books", what does he mean by that?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that this is a direct statement asserting the power of education for all students, in particular ethnic and racial minority students in the American discourse.  A major theme of Rodriguez's work is how individuals who are born of a different ethnic/ racial background can find their own level of autonomous success in the American landscape without having to settle for what is designated to them.  In suggesting that Rodriguez has "stolen their books," he is asserting that he was able to use education to break through any potential maligning that would have been experience being Latino.  While he expresses that there is some level of separation from his identity that is experienced being who he is in an environment dominated by the cultural majority, Rodriguez asserts that part of his empowerment through education is to be able to fully articulate his condition so that others who might be in the same reference point can use his narrative as a guide.  The Shakespearean reference is also noted, as Rodriguez is able to use the Bard, the pinnacle of the White Establishment, as a way to give voice to his own narrative.  In "stealing their books," Rodriguez makes a parallel between the magic of education and the conjuring of a world of exclusivity that is one degree less exclusive with Rodriguez's inclusion within it.

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Hunger of Memory

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