Identity In Richard Rodriguez's Brown: The Last Discovery Of America

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In Richard Rodriguez’s memoir Brown: The Last Discovery of America, he explicates America’s transition from a ‘greening environment’ to the future of ‘browning.’ The paradox will become the future, and social standards will subside as a new dominant categorization emerges. He exploits that the stigma created by other countries of America as the golden state is false when it comes to the reality of categorization, and discrimination of minorities and those who do not conform to the social normalities in the United States. He makes the reader question their culture and identity as he searches for his own. Because of Rodriguez’s application of pathos and logos throughout his memoir, it allows the reader insight on his journey to find his identity…show more content…
He manipulates pathos as he desires the readers to sympathize with those who fall in the category of brown, and to question themselves whether they too are ‘brown.’ The role is the man in the middle, the third man; neither” (Rodriguez 125). They are the paradox. They either strangely fit into both categories or not at all. “Brown forms at the border of contradiction [...] You will often find brown in this book as the cement between leaves of contradiction” (Rodriguez xi). Rodriguez applies logos to clearly explicate where the brown’s lie, they are the impure as “brown [is an] impurity” and the social standards are pure (Rodriguez xi). He then furthers his argument with the application of pathos to convey the brown are “like the skinny or fat kids left over after the team captains chose sides. ‘You take the rest’- my cue to wander away to the sidelines, to wander away” (Rodriguez 5). They are the unwanted, the obscure with bold individuality. As Rodriguez explains “[Americans] prefer plainness in theology, in our food, in our rhetoric [...]” we despise stepping out of the social normality and our comfort zone. However, once “ The hero stumbles, falls, his clothes freeze to his body. [...] ‘[F]reezing was not so bad as people thought... the most comfortable and satisfying sleep he had ever known,’ ” (Rodriguez 148-149). With acceptance that no one can live up the social normalities and our fate is like the fallen hero, it become more comfortable to be in the excruciating temperatures such as hot or cold which are paradoxes yet the same: filled with outcasts. Individuals can express their diversity, than to compete to stay temperate. Thus Rodriguez predicts, “ The future is brown” (Rodriguez 35). With the want of more diversity and individualism being voiced, the outcasts will become
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