Essay on Richard RodriguezIs Rodriguez still a Scholarship boy?
When we study in college we always envy those, who are successful in their studies, those who receive scholarships and are appreciated by teachers. The desire to be the first and the best is natural. The only question remains - in what the best? Being best in everything is the same as being best in nothing. How it is possible to understand what person wants to be best at? Richard Rodriguez is telling the story of his passion for studies; the price of studies and the reaction of his mates and teachers. It is obvious that he is no longer that little boy who wants to be accepted by society, who is ashamed for illiteracy of his parents and who reads books just for the sake of reading, not understanding and analyzing what he is reading about. He is no longer a scholarship boy, who divided his world into two separate entities- home and school. Scholarship boy: good student, troubled son. …He takes his first step toward academic success, away from his family.
“Achievement of Success” is a very deeply critical essay about the way towards understanding what is important in life and what not, about moral values and eternally essential things in each person’s life. Rodriguez critically evaluated his behavior when striving to get the knowledge the possible, as well as his attitudes to his parents. A few minutes later, I heard my father speak to my teacher and felt ashamed of his labored, accented words. Then guilty for the shame. I felt such contrary feelings. But parents were not ashamed at all. They were proud of their children’s academic successes and awards and were ready to laugh of their accent and from the fact that are not educated enough. They were wise enough just to love their children and to understand that good education should not change anything in person, including feelings to relatives.
In the fourth grade he started his passionate reading marathon. He was reading books not for fun or for pleasure. Probably he was not mature enough to read the kind of books he was. He was a very passionate reader, but not in the good meaning of the notion. Mainly he was not understanding what he was reading about, just collecting books that he read and collecting different opinions upon life and matters. Merely bookish, I lacked a point of view when I read. Rather, I read in order to acquire a point of view. He was not self-assured. Knowledge was the only thing he could rely on, and not his own thoughts. Probably he felt himself not clever and worthy enough to have his point of view and to express it openly. He had brilliant memory, but untrained mind. He was able to memorize a lot of things what others said, but was unable to think critically and analyze. Rodriguez quotes from Richard Hoggarth’s “The Uses of Literacy”: “All his ideas are clearly borrowed. He seems to have no thought of his own. He chatters while his listeners smile- their look one of disdain.”
It is very good to read a lot when the person knows what he is doing that for. From books we are able to increase our knowledge regarding historical events, watch other people’s lives, analyze the style and ideas, the author is trying to denounce. Without critical thinking and elements of evaluation reading is meaningless. Rodriguez was even unable to answer his mother’s question regarding what he sees in his books. Probably it was the question he was afraid and was not ready to answer.
There was no meaning in his studies, it was the main problem. He just wanted to be the best student, and when he achieved that status and even started writing a dissertation on English Renaissance literature in London, he understood that he is lonely without his family.
To my opinion, Rodriguez is a very happy person, as he was able to critically analyze his experience and make proper conclusions of it. He understood that family values cannot be substituted by any others. It is each person’s divine gift. Family will always love you even if you are not smart enough, or if your college grades are not high. It is unconditional love each person deserves and must enjoy in the fullest extent. It cannot be measured with educational level, as well as other material factors.
In the conclusion, I would like to say that definitely Rodriguez has learned a lot form his prior experience, as I as well did, and he is definitely not the same anxious imitative pupil.