Sunday, September 22, 2019

Identifying the Intertwining Aspects of Free

Identifying the Intertwining Aspects of Freedom Essay To truly comprehend the depth of ones’ determination, a literary character-psychologist must take a step back and realign their perspective with various individualistic and public opinions. In my analysis of Richard Rodriguez’s: Hunger of Memory The Education of Richard Rodriguez and Azar Nafisi’s Reading Lolita in Tehran I shall ponder the intricacies of several major themes associated within these controversial texts. In uncovering the underlying principles, we must first accept that there are intermingling concepts and themes. These themes and concepts are vital to the overall arguments found in each literary work. My analysis shall play a key role in evaluating how each piece plays its own role within the respective work. My diligent analysis shall ultimately focus on: the interweaving significance of self-identity, the essence behind a characters acceptance of public identity, the overwhelming drive to be successful in an ethnocentric society, the challenges associated with overcoming adversity, the complex vitality of ones’ definition of freedom(s), and finally the all-encompassing importance associated with education. My scrutiny of these works shall bring several sources into play in order to support the conclusions being drawn within this paper. Along with two literary works which emphasize the central themes expressed above, I shall be incorporating the movie, iRobot, one magazine article, one newspaper article, a reliable internet source, a singular case study, and lastly a peer interview into the scope of my paper. From the get-go, I shall seek to instill within the reader the acceptance that these themes are both an internalized as well as externalized challenge. We shall be uncovering how these changes affect different individuals on differing emotional, psychological, sociological, and physical levels. Let us proceed with comprehending the significance of how self-identity is formed on the part of our characters and how it affects our perspective of self-freedoms. Self-identity is essentially a private perspective being formed of how one reflects how they see themselves. Per Wikipedia, this self-concept is all about the â€Å"mental and conceptual understanding and persistent regard that sentient beings hold for their own existence† and is key to comprehending who you feel that you truly are on the inside. On the part of Richard Rodriguez, his self-perspective was one of true confusion where his â€Å"words could not stretch far enough to form complete thoughts† and his embarrassment â€Å"to hear (his) parents speak in public (where) their high-whining vowels and guttural consonants† was so unlike â€Å"the way gringos spoke† (14-15). Lost within his own misconceptions of American versus his Mexican immigrate status, he succumbed to being quiet, and timid. In his novel, he reflects that today he hears â€Å"bilingual educators say that children lose a degree of ‘individuality’ by becoming assimilated into public society† but they fail to see that assimilation has its benefits and is a necessity (26). This is because it eventually leads to a public individuality versus the private one; hence, isolation is less prevalent. Feeling secure within the world of books, he delved into reading and acquiring acknowledge as a means to understanding his essence. This tactic was one method of uncovering ones’ self-identity. The old saying that knowledge is power always plays an intricate role within a developing young mind and personality. For Rodriguez, this attainment of knowledge led to a greater comfort level in his sense of freedom. The case study from Economic Mobility of Immigrants in the United States from Economic Mobility Project states that â€Å"†¦second generation immigrants exceed the educational attainment of the first generation†¦(where) education is (considered) one vehicle that immigrants use to help their children get ahead. † This case study indicates that education is a determinant of wages and income in the United States, which Rodriguez had the early foresight to see. The bar graphs presented in this case study show that there is a definite correlation between those without an education from immigrants families and the amount of money they brought in weekly and annually. Because Rodriguez was socially disadvantaged, came from a family without an education, and characterized as lacking linguistic skills, he found himself literally tongue-tied in social environments. Instead he wisely shut himself off from the social world, and uncovered the monumental significance of learning material that children his age perhaps ignored. This level of sophistication created a self-identity tied to sophisticated thoughts and impressions. He indicates that he â€Å"felt that (he) had somehow committed a sin of betrayal by learning English† and though he acknowledges that he â€Å"turned to English with angry reluctance† he felt that his parents â€Å"encouraged (him) to learn English† (30). His social growth was stagnate at first by his overwhelming concern that people did not comprehend his immigrant status, but upon coming to terms with his ethnocentric background and westernization his self-awareness grew by leaps and bounds. As a â€Å"scholarship boy† (62) , he found himself literally memorizing words and phrases presented to students by their teachers. His self-identity became inter-wound with the idea of success, and this was â€Å"his primary reason for success in the classroom†¦(and) that schooling was changing and separating him from the life he enjoyed before becoming a student† (45). His drive for education enabled him to seek out new information and achieve successes that he might otherwise not have sought out. He has had the chance to incorporate his self-identity into an acceptance of his public one. His public identity was fashioned after society saw a well-educated Mexican immigrant who was driven by education and knowledge to pursue his dreams for higher education. Prior, the public had seen immigrants as mainly blue collar works with limited English linguistic skills and considered immigrants to be worthy of only remedial jobs. He reflects that â€Å"dark skin for my mother was the most important symbol of a life of oppressive labor and poverty†¦and the work (his) father found in San Francisco was work for the unskilled. A factory job†¦(where there was)†¦noise and heat.. and the dark stench of old urine† (119-120). These stories from his parents and awareness of blue collar jobs aided Rodriguez in his endeavors to educate himself; thus building a higher level of self-esteem that he otherwise would have lacked considering his preoccupation and concern that he was of immigrant status. His early and youthful withdraw from his family might be considered somewhat of a con, but in fact it showed him that his family in its way supported his desire to be successful and not become part of the blue collar workforce. His assimilation and learning of English lead to â€Å"diminished occasions of intimacy† at home because he â€Å"sensed the deepest truth about language and intimacy: Intimacy is not created by a particular language; it is created by intimacies† where this feeling arose because he used his public language, English, most of the day to move â€Å"easily† through society. (32) Through mature self-awareness he later became aware of the value associated with family and seemingly acknowledges that his family and immigrant background was like a reverse role model-ship. One example of this distance was when his father one day â€Å"opened a closet†¦and was startled to find me inside, reading a novel† (45) which was highly unusual and led to his family joking about what he â€Å"sees in (his) books†. This cultural adversity and mental hardships molded Rodriguez into a man who was ultimately virtuous, highly respected, successful, and knowledgeable. It also encouraged him to intellectually analyze material and find security in learning. This ethnocentric challenge to fit in is not unheard of for first generation children of immigrants. In reality, there are many immigrants from all over the world who come to America seeking to fulfill their hopes and dreams. Some come here under refugee status, some as students, others as H1 workers, and many as illegal immigrants. It is interesting that many have their own story and experience to tell about living in a foreign country. From my driving instructor, Victor Yang, I told that in Saudi Arabia they arrest both the driver and spouse of the driver if they were caught drinking while under the influence. You would think that only the guilty party would be affected, but in this manner the spouse too suffers. Therefore, the husband would probably feel less inclined to commit such a crime again as his loved ones too pay a penalty for violating the law. It might eliminate the freedom of the innocent, but for some it is the psychological and emotional embarrassment suffered by the guilty which limited the violations. I had the opportunity to work with a Muslim refugee from Bosnian who came to America as a teenager, and who was given the hard responsibility of caring for her one-armed mom whose left arm was blown off in the Bosnian marketplace, illiterate father, and young sister. She had to perform all the linguist responsibilities of obtaining paperwork, living space, find a job for her father, enrolling her kid sister in elementary school, running a household, and finally making her way through school. Her determination for education, her drive to live up to her own self-identity, her goals, and her insistence that the family not be on welfare lead to her having a successful job in corporate America. During my many conversations with her, I have heard how difficult it can be to insert your awareness of yourself and goals into a society which covertly favors Americans versus immigrants. Hers too is a story of triumph over adversity. Hers too is the story of many immigrants who faced identity hurdles, but stuck to their determination and knowledge-driven mindset. Her motto is â€Å"Always be self-driven and self-aware. † From my friend’s experiences as immigrant, I found myself curious as an American in uncovering if this â€Å"melting pot† was truly functional or fictional. One newspaper article that I ran into within the Washington Post, â€Å"America’s Racial and Ethnic Divides: Immigrants Shunning Idea of Assimilation† illustrates how a naturalized Mexican does not feel like she is American and she â€Å"resists the idea of assimilating into U. S. society (because she says) ‘I think I’m still Mexican†¦when my skin turns white and my hair turns blonde, then I’ll be an American†. From her external perspective and self-image, like Rodriguez had encountered, she is being differentiated by her skin color. The article points out that â€Å"it is no longer the melting pot that is transforming them, but they who are transforming American society. † Their inputs and idea of freedom and identity enable them to bring new perspectives and ideas into the American society; hence, the melting pot theory is invalid. We might consider it more to be a bowl of chili where every ingredient plays its own role in the end flavor. This ‘segmented assimilation, in which immigrants follow different paths to incorporation in U. S. society’ allows for immigrants to educate themselves and take advantage of opportunities and freedoms that they might not otherwise have. This also enables them to more easily face hurdles and complexities within their public identity. Richard Rodriguez found himself in a more difficult position because of his desire to not be defined as Mexican; which was his own self-identity in question.

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