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Was Rodriguez Really a Scholarship Boy?

            Imagine living in two different worlds at once! Now, imagine if those worlds conflicted with each other in every way possible? What would you do? You want both, but neither one wants the other. That is exactly how Richard Rodriguez's life was like. In his essay, "The Achievement of Desire," Rodriguez describes this life with a little help from Richard Hoggart's "Uses of Literacy" which also describes the kind of life a boy like Rodriguez, a "scholarship boy" would lead. Although Rodriguez shared some similarities with Hoggart's ideal, he missed the important points that truly define a scholarship boy, including appreciation of what has been offered to him by his parents, and the perseverance to try and maintain this same relationship.
             The differences that divide Hoggart and Rodriguez originate from each writer's understanding of the conflict that characterizes the scholarship boy's situation. In his essay, Hoggart portrays it as being in between two classes: the working-class and the middle-class. He is "declassed" though, belonging to neither of these classes (893). It is not usual for a boy of a working class to be successful and just move up to the middle-class, holding jobs among them, being superior to them in anyway and moving up the ladder (897). He doesn't wish to stay at that first step. On the other hand, Rodriguez sees it as differences in cultures, being the son of immigrants from Mexico. He didn't like the accent. He heard his father speak to his teacher and felt ashamed of his labored, accented words (658). He admired his teacher as she was soft-spoken and her words were edged sharp and clean (658). He proudly announced to his parents that he was losing his Spanish accent (653). He wasn't interested in keeping his Spanish as his mother advised (657).
             Hoggart describes the scholarship boy very thoroughly. He doesn't only mention his emotional status and how he feels, but also gives a little hint of his physical appearance and his relationship with more of the people around him.

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