September 12th, 2012
“Real Work” by Richard Rodriguez is about a young man struggling with self-confidence. He seeks to build his self-esteem by participating in real manual labor over a summer job. When Rodriguez is offered a job working on a construction site he doesn’t hesitate to say yes. His father had always told him he could never understand the hardships of “Real work’, and Rodriguez felt that completing this summer job would make his father proud of him, and in many ways consider him to be a “Real man”. Richard Rodriguez was raised in America, unlike his family. He never really knew anything different. This made it very easy for his father to tell him that “he didn’t really know what real work was”. Every culture is different, and has different definitions of how to define a “Man”. But a common stereotype for a typical man is to be a hard worker. I can relate to Rodriguez in many ways. For example, from the time I finished Middle School my dad started stressing the importance of getting a job. He told me that if I was working and made my own money, he would treat me like an adult, a “man”. Although at the time I was naive and thought the idea of working was just silly, and a huge waste of time. I eventually thought about what my father had told me. I became very interested in the ideas my dad put in my head. I wanted to make him proud, and show him that I could do it, just like he had once done as a young boy. It was hard finding employment because of my age. So I took whatever work I could get. I did yard work, I babysat, and I started taking some of my neighbors dogs on walks. I was young, but I had already started to understand this feeling of being independent. Eventually my father “cut me off”, as in no more financial help. I was a sophomore in high school. I was still fed daily and given clothes from time to time. I also still had a roof over my head. But all of my “wants”, not “needs”, I...