Aria - Paper

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Michael Marachelian
In the essay “Aria” Richard Rodriguez explains how a person’s life can be changed by being taught a different language. Rodriguez’s family were of Mexican descent, so the only language that they would speak around the house would be Spanish. When Rodriguez would go to school, he would have to try to speak English because that was the public language in his school. Rodriguez was very shy about being in public, and he thought that it would be easier for him to speak Spanish in school. Eventually, Rodriguez learned English, but after doing so, Rodriguez gained and lost things that to his new and old lifestyle. Two things that Rodriguez gained after learning how to speak English was the ability to not be shy about being in public and to fit in with society. Things that he lost were his connection to his heritage and the ability to speak Spanish comfortably.

Rodriguez had a troubled life when he was a kid. He would speak comfortably with his parents, but at school, he was nervous and shy because he could barely speak English. But after he learned English, he was never shy to be in public and to voice out his opinions. “One day I raised my hand to volunteer an answer. I spoke out in a loud voice. And I did not think it remarkable when the entire class understood” (Aria 5). From that day on, Rodriguez was never shy about anything that had to do with speaking English.

Rodriguez also believed that he finally fit in with society after volunteering that day. He never thought that he didn’t belong in public now that he speaks English and that people could understand him. Rodriguez made friends, and he would be comfortable with those friends because of his public identity. “When I arrived home there would often be neighborhood kids in the house.” (Aria 6). Rodriguez now had friends and officially fit in with society.

Rodriguez gained a couple of things in his life after learning English, but he also lost things that were very...
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