Summary Of Aria By Richard Rodriguez

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In “Aria: Memoir of a Bilingual Childhood,” Richard Rodriguez outlines the struggles he encountered growing up speaking Spanish in an English speaking society. He describes some of the hardships and difficulties he was forced to endure in assimilating into an English speaking American culture. In his essay, Rodriguez describes the importance of language and the influence it had on his early life. Through the use of vivid imagery and psychological appeals, Rodriguez is able to compare his native Spanish language to the foreign English language that surrounds him. To Rodriguez, what mattered more were not the mere words of language, but rather their sounds. Rodriguez would pay close attention to the way words sounded because they gave him insight on the speaker’s background in a language. He recounts the “high nasal notes” of the middle class English speakers as “being so firm and so clear” compared to the English of his parents which was characterized by a “hesitant rhythm” of “high-whining vowels and guttural [consonant]” sounds (Rodriguez 295). He compares the way the English language sounds to him spoken in the …show more content…

In the essay, Rodriguez dates back to an experience with language that caused him to feel embarrassed and insecure. He recalls to an occurrence with his father in which it was “unsettling to hear [him] struggle with English” (Rodriguez 296). Rodriguez could not help but to look away as his father’s “words slid together” in an attempt to produce a clear English statement (Rodriguez 296). However, to Rodriguez, his native Spanish language was his “language of home” and he felt a special connection to it as it became for him a “language of joyful return” to which he could come back to at any given moment in time. Rodriguez’s psychological appeals help to emphasize the differences between his native Spanish language and the English

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