Consequences from the Need of Education
Richard Rodriguez’s “The Achievement of Desire” could easily be categorized as a bildungsroman. The author uses literary devices to elaborate on his bicultural hardship as a Mexican American boy seeking higher education. In the essay, the author contributes literary elements of satire, flashbacks, and deductive reasoning to lure the reader into further in-depth thinking. As a child Rodriguez was the exception to the stereotypical student coming from a low-income working class family. He was always on top of his class and rather than spending his time out with friends or with his family he spent his time with books and notes. He saw schooling as the best way to get rid of his embarrassment of being a minority student with out the proficiency in the English language. Rodriguez sought to escape from being a poor uneducated person as his parents. This approach made Rodriguez stand out as an exceptional student, but as time goes on he becomes an outsider both at home and in school. Rodriquez motif in “The Achievement of Desire” explains a “scholarship boy” (Rodriguez, 224) from a minority working class family with the inspiration of great educational knowledge.
The definition of Bildungsroman is a novel dealing with the education and development of its protagonist. Rodriguez’s “The Achievement of Desire” is an essay, but has all the characteristics of a Bildungsroman; it concerns itself with the development of a youthful protagonist as he matures. The process of Rodriquez’s maturity is long and gradual, consisting of repeated hardships between his needs and desires. The reader is told about the extraordinary educational achievements he fulfilled, “ as brilliant: undergraduate work at Stanford University, graduate study in Berkeley and Columbia, a Fulbright fellowship to study English literature in London,” (Rodriguez, 214). Rodriguez conflicts with a psychological battle between education and family. After every...
Cited: Rodriguez, Richard, “The Achievement of Desire” Rereading America. 6th ed. Ed. Gary Colombo, Robert Cullen, Bonnie Lisle. Boston. Bedford/St Martin’s, 2004. 214-226.
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