Re-Visioning the Scholarship Boy
In “When We Dean Awaken: Writing as Re-Vision,” Rich describes the dilemma we all face as humans in our search for identity. Are we to allow the forces of the past to define us, or are we to transcend these forces creating a new identity? For Rich her struggle with a male dominated society causes her to redefine herself through writing. As the title of her piece suggests, Rich uses “writing as Re-vision,” a way to rewrite the past, effectively breaking free of tradition. In “The Achievement Of Desire,” Rodriguez is faced with a similar crisis of identity, when faced with Hoggart’s concept of the “scholarship boy”. While this concept seems to represent the hold of authority over Rodriguez, he instead uses it in his search for identity, breaking the hold of authority over him. Rich writes, “until we understand the assumptions in which we are drenched we cannot know ourselves….”(Rich 18). In much the same way Rodriguez must understand the assumptions imposed by the concept of the “scholarship boy” in his quest for self-identity. When examining Rodriguez’s struggle the following questions arise: Has Rodriguez broken free of the academic authorities in his life, which attempt to rigidly define his identity? Is he a “scholarship boy,” or something more? When contemplating these questions, we come to a surprising result; Rodriguez had used his quest for identity as a catalyst, allowing him to solidify his own philosophy of education. Throughout the achievement of desire Rodriguez uses the concept of the scholarship boy to express his philosophy of education. While at first we see the scholarship boy as a mere caricature, eventually it begins to increase in depth, until finally we realize that Rodriguez is in fact talking about himself. Rodriguez writes: “In large part, however, the reason he is such a bad student is because he realizes more often and more acutely than most other students – than Hoggart himself – that...
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