Hunger of Memory is an autobiography of Richard Rodriguez, a minority who triumphs from a socially disadvantaged childhood. Through times of learning the English language and adjusting socially Mr. Rodriguez shares his emotions and troublesome times. His heart and soul embedded deeply with loneliness from pursuing academic success. The memories of close family ties slowly fade away through assimilation of public society while growing up in a non-mexican society. A scholarship boy who returns home one summer to find silence between himself and his parents.
The third of four children, Richard Rodriguez attended a Roman Catholic school in Sacramento, California. Richard grew up Catholic, crucifixes; holy pictures and grace before eating were all part of his daily life. His first twelve years of schooling were Catholic. Barely able to speak English he began his schooling where all his classmates were white. He considered home life private, able to speak Spanish and public life was outside the home where the others - los gringos spoke English. The nuns ultimately convinced his parents to encourage their children to speak English at home. Early in his childhood the desire for achievement was instilled by the nuns at his catholic school and his working-class parents. He became bookish, eager to learn. As his use of the English language became more fluent he started to forget his own Spanish language. As the family children learned more English fewer words were said to the parents. Home life changed and became distanced, no longer bound by public separateness of their home life and public society. At times he was embarrassed of his parentâ€™s Spanish accent. Being dark in complexion he used to envy his botherâ€™s skin which did not darken like his but peeled and burned like that of los gringos. His mother would always warn him about staying out of the sun, reminding him how important looks were in this country.