Assimilation – Discuss the benefits and drawbacks of assimilating into the United States culture. What does one give up when one learns a new language and new customs? What does one gain? How do generations of assimilated immigrants differ from their parents? Consider Rodriguez’s relationship with his family in your discussion. Use your own ideas and the ones of Rodriguez. Use “Hunger of Memory” and Rodriguez’s experience as your primary body of evidence.
To Assimilate or not to Assimilate
I feel that when foreign citizens assimilate they lose apart of themselves in the process U.S. Assimilation is the process where a foreign immigrant cast off the ties of their old cultural identity and embraces the traditions and customs of their new country. When someone assimilates into this country there are many benefits such as education, job opportunities, and safety. In Hunger of Memory Rodriquez shows these benefits when he writes, “In the early years of my boyhood, my parents coped very well in America. My father had steady work. My mother managed at home. They were nobody’s victims. Optimism and ambition led them to a house many blocks from the Mexican side of town. We lived among gringos and only a block away from the biggest, whitest houses. It never occurred to my parents that they couldn’t live wherever they chose.” (Rodriquez 10) What this means is that there are many opportunities in this country to have a good life if a person is willing to work hard and achieve these things.
While there are many benefits to assimilating like with most things in life it comes at a cost. Conformity and sameness is the price that is paid for assimilating. The world we live in is filled with many unique and fascinating people with their own thoughts and opinions, but this country does not accommodate difference. It is a sad but very true fact that in order to do well in this country we must give up a part of our selves and strive to become like everyone else. The...