In the story “Aria” Richard Rodriguez tells us how someone’s life can be changed by being forced to learn a different language. Rodriguez’s family was of Mexican descent, so the only language that they would speak around the house would be Spanish, but that all changed when they became Americanized. When Rodriguez would go to school, he would have to try to speak English because that was the language the public would speak in his school. Rodriguez was very shy about being in public, and he thought that it would be easier for him to speak Spanish in school. In no time, Rodriguez learned to speak English, but after that, Rodriguez gained and lost a lot of things that affected his new and old lifestyle. Two things that Rodriguez gained after learning how to speak English was that he stopped being shy in front of people and he was more comfortable in public because he would be able to speak English and not be embarrassed. Things that he lost were his Mexican heritage which conflicted with his lifestyle, and he couldn’t be able to speak Spanish comfortably.
Rodriguez’s life was very hard for him when he was growing up. He would speak Spanish comfortably with his parents, but at school, he was nervous and shy because he couldn’t speak English very well, but after he learned English, he was never shy to be in public and to voice out his opinions. “One day in school I raised my hand to volunteer an answer. I spoke out in a loud voice. And I did not think it remarkable when the entire class understood” (5). After that, Rodriquez never got nervous or shy about anything, not even speaking English, whether it’s in public or in his family.
Rodriguez also had the feeling that he finally started to fit in with society after volunteering that day. Rodriguez believed that he never belonged in public because he didn’t know English, but after that people started to understand him more and more. When Rodriguez made friends,...