How does the private sphere affect Rodriquez's idenity as an adult?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that you can find a variety of answers to this.  I like to point to the moment in childhood where language acquisition played a role in carving out Rodriguez's understanding about cultural identity.  When a child, Rodriguez's family spoke fluent Spanish in the home.  At an English speaking school, this posed a challenge and the nuns suggested to Richard's parents that only English is spoken at home.  His parents, wishing only for the educational best for their children, agreed.  The results spoke volumes as Richard and his siblings became more pronounced and assertive as well as confident in speaking in the public setting.  Yet, there was fewer intimate moments being experienced at home because the English language lacked the ability to frame the emotional dynamics of the Rodriguez's heritage.  I think that this private experience from childhood held a great deal of influence on Rodriguez in his understanding about the difficulties and predicament of non- native speakers of English and how their narratives are constructed in a different way.  One can see how a private experience as a child holds resonance in the public realm as an adult.

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Hunger of Memory

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