Scholarship Boy or Not?
In the essay “Achievement of Desire”, Richard Rodriguez takes author Richard Hoggart’s, “Scholarship Boy”, and uses it as a reference point to capture his own life experiences as a scholarship boy. Growing up in a working class house hold, Richard was not the average product of his environment. Much like Hoggarts’ scholarship boy, Rodriguez was a very dedicated student that excelled in most of his studies. Although Rodriguez had the full support of his parents he was still somewhat physically segregated at home. On most nights, he spent time engulfed in books and notes, rather than watching television with family, or lolly gagging with friends. Yet these habits adversely affect his social and family life it is favored in both the definition and action of the scholarship boy.
According to Hoggart, a scholarship boy “is at the friction-point of two cultures” (840). Living conditions for Rodriguez are of that of an average middle class youth, although he possessed the study habits of the brightest. When the boy has escaped the chaotic working class home, he is surrounded by a sort of, “mental calm,” (Rodriguez 548). School is usually not as appealing and is somewhat alienated by individuals from working class families. Both scholarship boys generally face the separation and alienation of social life in regards to academics.
Rodriguez’s parents had very little schooling. He recalls that in third grade he was “annoyed when he was unable to get help”, on a simple mathematics assignment (546).In Hoggart’s recall on the other hand, the student was much more independent and rarely turned to his parents for aid. It is obvious that in the light of family support Rodriguez was “better of”. His mother was: “a new girl to America [she] had been awarded a high school diploma by teachers to busy or careless to notice that she hardly spoke English” (552). Rodriguez became very conscious and somewhat ashamed of his parents language barrier. Even...
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