Richard Rodriguez American Dream

705 Words3 Pages
The American dream, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is a happy way of living that is thought of by many Americans as something that can be achieved by anyone in the U.S. especially by working hard and becoming successful. The passage sees Richard Rodriguez describing a past Christmas experience. Rodriguez uses language and details about his siblings, parents, and himself to suggest the American dream of material success. Rodriguez comments on the American dream of material success using language and details about his siblings. Rodriguez immediately begins by letting the reader know that his two sisters “are business executives.” It is generally known that being a business executive not only takes a tremendous amount of exertion, but…show more content…
He begins the article stating that his mother ‘is not surprised that her children are well-off.” This may possibly be hinting at the fact that he and his siblings are doing well prosperity-wise likely due to hard work. He immediately sets the tone for the passage with this statement that draws back to the passage’s theme of the American dream of material success. He then describes an experience in which his mother “stands waving toward no one in particular.” It can be inferred that the particular event being described is the departure of his siblings - possibly back to work. In addition, he also speaks of the only thing his father had said to him that entire evening - stating that he asks if he’s “going home now,” again, possibly back to work. One can infer that his father likely encourages them to work their hardest, considering that being the only thing he had said to…show more content…
Rodriguez seems to be quite observant as after the Christmas gift unwrapping he states that “everyone seems very tired.” Knowing this piece of information, the reader may infer that they, quite obviously, had an immense amount of gifts to unwrap. The significance of the amount of gifts may lie in the fact that a lot of money went into purchasing said gifts; again, tracing back to the idea of the American dream of national success described throughout the passage. Later in the passage, he notices that his mother “seems sad” and ask himself if she’s possibly sad that he and his siblings are “all going home.” He also asks himself whether it’s because it “was not quite, can never be, the Christmas one remembers having had once;” very likely referring to when he and his siblings were still living with their parents as children. It appears as though his mother is the opposite of his father as his father likely encourages them to keep following their own path and working hand. While on the other hand, his mother reminisces about the past when her children didn’t have to worry or stress about any of that. Rodriguez shows how the idea of the American dream affected the quality family traditions. He does this by describing an experience while using language and details about different family members and even himself. Although different
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