The land of opportunity

Essay by VelmokCollege, UndergraduateA, April 2008

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Andrei Komlev

Expo E-25


The Land Of Opportunity

All around the world America is known to be the country of freedom and prosperity. People travel from all corners of the world to fight for a piece of what this country has to offer. What many do not understand is that the struggle doesn't end when one arrives here. Maintaining one's cultural identity in a foreign land is difficult, forcing many to acculturate and let their native identity slip into the background. In their essays Richard Rodriguez and Gloria Anzaldua are able to express how isolating it can be trying to preserve their own culture in a foreign land. Maintaining one's roots in a foreign land is much harder than most think. Although both authors deal with problems of being minorities in Anglo-America, the struggles they face and their reactions in handling the situations differ greatly.

The essay "The Achievement of Desire" by Richard Rodriguez is a piece that spoke to the challenge of a white man's education in a Latino boy's world.

The author described a world where the more he learned, the farther he was pulled away from his roots. While attending school Rodriguez tried to acculturate himself to the American world and also quench his thirst for knowledge. His story spoke of shame he associated with his less educated parents and his struggle to achieve recognition in a foreign land. His story is told through the eyes of a "scholarship boy", a model student trying to thrive academically while distancing himself from his heritage' (Rodriguez, 565). In his eyes, these two worlds could not coexist. An education, he thought, was a means to have a better life than that of his parents. His conflict arose when he realized the educational world is far removed from working class...