Enlightened by Richard Hoggart's essay, The Uses of Literacy, Richard Rodriguez shares his own views on the "scholarship boy" in his essay, The Achievement of Desire. Through his own experiences as a scholarship boy, Rodriquez manages to convince the reader of the hardships and sacrifices a working class boy has to make for his education. To strengthen his essay, Rodriguez turns to Hoggart's essay to borrow ideas and passages. It is obvious that Rodriguez adopts many of Hoggart's ideas about the scholarship boy in his writing, but a deeper look at Rodriguez's writing will prove that Rodriquez is not copying Hoggart's ideas; instead, he is putting them to use.
Hoggart may be viewed as Rodriquez's mentor in the sense that Hoggart is the one who introduces to Rodriguez the scholarship boy. Rodriguez openly admits that "I found, in [Hoggart's] description of the scholarship boy."(569) Now that their relationship is clear, it is not hard to see why there is so much of Hoggart in The Achievement of Desire. Like a good student writing a research paper, Rodriquez is simply taking down quotes and making references from Hoggart, the authority in this field, to back up his own writing. There is a reason why Rodriguez chooses to refer to Hoggart so casually in his essay. By making Hoggart an authoritative figure in the field of scholarship boy studies, Rodriquez gives himself a lesser role to play in his essay. Rodriquez shares his life experiences in the essay while using Hoggart as a bank of facts and definitions. The impersonal job of lecturing the reader on the facts about the scholarship boy is allocated to the expert Hoggart, whose "description is distinguished."(569) Conventionally, it is believed that writing about personal experiences tends to be less tedious and tiring than writing about facts. Without the burden of playing the role of a teacher and a scholarship boy at the same time, Rodriguez can devote himself to writing about his experiences as a scholarship boy.