English 1301 Composition & Rhetoric
December 1, 2011
Relating Differences-“Los Pobres”
In the essay, “Los Pobres”, by Richard Rodriguez, a young educated man wants to show his people he can do manual labor. Earning money was more important for his family. Money allowed Rodriguez’s family security and social mobility. Even though Rodriguez was a college student he did not use the tools of manual labor correctly. He did not fit in with the laborers. Rodriguez was book smart but was not able to communicate with the other workers. In the end the workers were cheated out of fair wages and must find more work. Rodriguez goes back to school where he learns how much he was not taught in school.
Education and conversations are important in Rodriguez’s essays. He comes from a Hispanic family with strong traditions of family values and dreams of their children’s success. “In the Lonely Good Company of Books”, Rodriguez’s family hires a tutor to teach him how to read. “He became a reader and a good student”, but I was not a good reader, merely bookish”. His parents always asked,” What do you see in your books? He saw ways to find a point of view. “Many times, all his learning accomplished was misunderstanding.” Rodriguez did not look outside the world of books and many times was unable to relate to his friends, coworkers and family.
In his essay, “Family Values”, Rodriguez sits outside his parent’s house, wondering how he would tell his parents he is gay. The essay ties together Rodriguez’s themes of enlightenment. Hard work did not make him a better man on Mexican. Books did not give him a window to knowledge. Family is defined by love and tolerance. As his mother waits for him to enter the house, she sees her son, not a gay man.
Mom, Dad will you sit down with me and talk about a serious subject. I have to tell you something important in my personal life. For a long time now I have been questioning some of my beliefs. I really need both of you to...
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