ARIA BY RICHARD RODRIGUEZ
In Aria, Richard Rodriguez argues that in today’s society people are forced to lose a part of who they are, because they need to learn a different language in school districts. In this article Rodriguez mentions that when he was going to school he did not know much English because this was not the language that he spoke at home with his family. Teachers eventually caught on and met with his parents basically forcing them to only speak English with him. To me this shows that this was the beginning of Rodriguez losing a part of who he was because if a teacher shows up to someone’s house, forcing them to all of the sudden switch languages spoken in a household just so that it is more convenient for them (in my opinion) that is taking away a part of individualism and a part of someone’s culture. Personally I think that this family should have only spoken a somewhat English in the household as well as Spanish or use a kind of “Code Switching” as Collier would say and use both in sentences because what language someone speaks defines who they are and defines their pride. I think that if the family would have done this then Richards father would have been more social with the family and tried harder with his family like with everyone else. “His children became so accustomed to his silence…But my father was not shy, I realized, when I’d watch him speaking Spanish with relatives” (Rodriguez). I feel like maybe they could have had more fun with learning a new language as well as adding their own pride in the language at the same time if they spoke with both languages.
Although I have never known of a teacher to show up to my friend’s house to make them change their language from Spanish to English, I do know someone who was one of my good friends that over time lost who they were because they basically were forced to only speak English at school because the teachers did not try to help him. This friend changed in so many ways. When he first came he cared for everyone and did not care if he was being too nice or what anyone thought about him. Overtime, he began to learn the language and from there on began to change. He became mean and so much different than before or you could say he became Americanized. He would make fun of people, he started to hang around the wrong crowd and make bad choices. He also did not have the relationship with his dad that he once had just like Rodriguez, throwing parties and not even talking when they were in the same room. To me this proves that by going to a school and having to change the language you originally spoke, makes people lose a part of them. Personally I think that we as a whole country need to fix this and let people speak the language that will help them have better future and not tear their family apart which I now see has happened more than once.