Describe the tone of paragraph 5, where Rodriguez first raises the issue of bilingual education in "Aria: A Memoir of a Bilingual Childhood."

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Paragraph five of Richard Rodriguez's essay "Aria: A Memoir of a Bilingual Childhood" is a very short paragraph. The paragraph is as follows:

Memory teaches me what I know of these matters. The boy reminds the adult. I was a bilingual child, but of a certain kind: "socially disadvantaged," the son of working class parents, both Mexican immigrants.

To define the tone, one must first understand what tone is. Tone, therefore, is the attitude a speaker or narrator takes towards a subject, character, or audience.

The tone of Rodriguez, in paragraph five, would be one of seriousness or shame. As for the tone being one of seriousness, Rodriguez shows this by depicting what his memories of his youth has taught him as an adult.

In regard to the tone being one of shame, readers of the essay can interpret his noting of being "socially disadvantaged" as being one which he felt as shameful. This can be justified given the school he first attended was one which was attended by white children of doctors, lawyers, and business executives. He, very different from the other children identified himself as the child who would be the "problem student" in school.

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