Sunday, February 16, 2014

Quotes from "Aria" by Richard Rodriquez

"We remained a loving family but one completely changed. No longer so close; no longer bound tight by the pleasing and troubling knowledge of our public separateness. Neither my older brother nor sister rushed home after school anymore. Nor did I. When I arrived home there would often be neighborhood kids in the house. Or the house would be empty of sounds."

Rodriguez discusses how his family grew apart while they learned a completely new language that was very unnatural to them. They lost a sense of family and a sense of their culture at home. It is bad enough they had to adapt to becoming Americanized, their language was the last thing they had left. Language is not only a dialect that is spoken. Language itself can have a certain tone or quality to it that other ways of speaking do not have. By stripping diverse cultures of their native language, it limits the words and makes conversations less personal. There is little to no emotion behind anything they are saying because they are not used to speaking in English. 

"Following the dramatic Americanization of their children, even my parents grew more publicly confident."
Children and families who move to the United States are slowly stripped of their culture by our government, schools and culture. His family didn't feel comfortable in public since they could only understand very little English and couldn't communicate well with other Americans. They gained a sense of pride and confidence learning English. We discussed the "melting pot" theory in one of our first classes and said how the "melting pot" ideology is not the accurate term since it does not show everyones identity but rather melts it all together. The salad bowl term is a better term to use since it is more clearly visible of different peoples race, culture and identity. The ideology of SCWAAMP (Straightness Christianity Whiteness American-ness Able-bodied Maleness and Property-Ownership) is very clear in the text. By moving to America, citizens have to automatically adapt to the laws, regulations, customs, traditions and culture of this country. If not, they are perceived as trouble. This mindset teaches children that their is no importance of culture which goes against many mindsets of educators in our country. Colleges, universities and schools all want diversity to be a part of their school's culture, yet children and students who are diverse do not have the right to be taught in the language they have communicated in their whole life. That's America for ya!

"Her voice, like so many of the Spanish voices I'd hear in public, recalled the golden age of my youth."
This quote stood out to me more than anything in the text. Rodriguez refers to his youth as the golden age. It shows how he misses the connection he had with his parents and siblings through the language they spoke as a family. "Golden Age" is a metaphor that is used to describe when something great ocurred or was accomplished. Rodriguez had a sense of family and culture when he was in his golden age of youth, however, as an adult, he feels he will never have that same feeling again.



  1. Hi Shannon! I really like the quotes you decided to talk about - they say a lot about what it means to be "American" in today's society and how language is a huge part of someone's identity - it's sad that someone's personal history can be stripped away just because they are forced to speak a different language. Nice post! :)

  2. Shannon!!! :) Awesome post this week. I really connected with what you wrote for the second Quote. How our country and education system slowly strip culture. I also liked how you brought examples from class into this post. It was a great way to connect our class to this reading. Great post, can't wait to read your next Blog.

  3. Hey Shannon! I totally agree with your comments and the quotes you picked! That last quote really stood out to me too. I agree with Julie, it is sad how his private/personal history was just taken away because he was taught English. Great post this week!