blog 24

He [father] was talking to a teen-aged attendant. I don’t recall what they were saying but I cannot forgery the sounds my father made as he spoke. At one point his words slid together to form one word-sounds as confused as the threads of blue and green oil in the puddle next to my shoes…shortly afterward, walking towards home with my father, I shivered when he put his hand on my shoulder. The very first glance that I got, I evaded his grasp and ran on ahead into the dark skipping with feigned boyish exuberance.

I really enjoyed reading “Hunger of Memory: Aria” by Richard Rodriguez. In this quote he talks about how he felt embarrassed that he’s father barely spoke the language. He adds that his father had the syntax all mixed up as he was speaking to the teenager. Because his father barely spoke any English, he had a strong accent and Rodriguez was just ashamed of his father. Here one can see the power language has. The father is middle aged but has no power over the teenage boy who speaks better English than him. Rodriguez felt this and that’s why when he’s father was holding him by the shoulder he rejected him. The fact that his father was seen inferior compared to the teenager must have bothered him.

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