In this essay I will use, “Learning to Read and Write” by Fredrick Douglass, “The Lonely, Good Company of Books” by Richard Rodriguez, Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, and an interview of Patti Read to argue that self motivation and self determination are the most important elements to becoming successful.
In his writing The Achievement of Desire, Richard Rodriguez describes his pursuit of academic achievement as a way to distance himself from his family as well as his cultural roots: “… A primary reason for my success in the classroom was that I couldn’t forget that school wa...
Despite his classification as a "scholarship boy", Rodriguez lacked his own point of view and confidence, which led him to be dominated by his teachers and his books.
Rodriguez: I had all this anxiety about what it meant to be a minority. My professors — the same men who taught me the intricacies of language — just shied away from the issue. They didn't want to talk about it, other than to suggest I could be a "role model" to other Hispanics — when I went back to my barrio, I suppose. I came from a white middle class neighborhood. Was I expected to go back there and teach the woman next door about Renaissance sonnets? The embarrassing truth of the matter was that I was being chosen because Yale University had some peculiar idea about what my skin color or ethnicity signified. Who knows what Yale thought it was getting when it hired Richard Rodriguez? The people who offered me the job thought there was nothing wrong with that. I thought there was something very wrong. I still do. I think race-based affirmative action is crude and absolutely mistaken.
Rodriguez considers himself to be a “scholarship boy” because according to Hoggart, a “scholarship boy” is the student that is a good student but a bad son (518).
In the highly praised book made up of a compilation of essays titled Darling by Richard Rodriguez the normal system of human social elements and emotional responses are assessed and analyzed.
In the essay “Aria: A Memoir of a Bilingual Childhood,” Richard Rodriguez illustrates the distinctions between individual and social identity as a Mexican immigrant.