Hunger of Memory Questions and Answers
by Richard Rodriguez

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How does Rodriguez’s “public language” affect his private life?

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In chapter one, "Aria", of Richard Rodriguez's autobiographical book Hunger of Memory: The education of Richard Rodriguez, the author makes a series of interesting observations that explain how he, the son of two immigrant Mexican workers, began to differentiate the language he spoke at home (Spanish) with the English language.

In his own words, he explains the affect that is produced when he listens to the Mexican-accentuated Spanish spoken at home. He states how this is his own private language, to be spoken with the family only.

In contrast, he explains:

In public, my father and mother spoke a hesitant, accented, not always grammatical English. And they would have to strain—their bodies tense—to catch the...

(The entire section contains 373 words.)

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