Summary Of Days Of Obligation By Richard Rodriguez

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Richard Rodriguez analyzes the cultures of two places that have different points of view about how life should be lived in his book “Days of Obligation”. He analyzes the differences between the cultures of California and Mexico, naming one a tragedy and the other a comedy. The rhetorical devices Rodriguez uses include renaming the two places, and a type of reverse psychology. Rodriguez starts by giving new names to California and Mexico. California is what he considers to be a comedy and Mexico, a tragedy. This instantly contrasts the two places by associating these words with them. When thinking about comedy, happiness and laughter come to mind- a happy feeling. Opposite of this is tragedy; the word tragedy is full of sorrow and heartache. The two could not be more different. But he doesn’t just leave the reader with only their thoughts about these words- he adds to their meanings. Rodriguez defines comedy not as laughter or happiness but as youth and the ability “to start anew”- as the ability to break tradition. In the same way …show more content…

Therefore, he sees Mexico as having the upper hand, the tragedy may not be as tragic as it seemed. When there is wisdom in your life, it does not mean that no fun comes- it means that they are more apt to realize what life has to offer instead of always striving for something and missing what is happening in that moment. So while California is drifting through the clouds like a balloon with its eyes closed, Mexico is below walking on the sidewalk looking at all the shops and realizing everything that they have around them. By using this type of reverse psychology Rodriguez sheds more light on his meanings of the two words comedy and tragedy by explaining that things aren’t always as they

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