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A Loss of Language In Richard Rodriguezs Gains and Losses we are told the story of how he learned English as a young boy and in turn stopped using his familys language Spanish The story is the portrayal of a Latino family that does not speak English very well and are pushed by American societys cultural expectations to learn the language and essentially drop their native tongue The family did have a choice in the matter however but the alternative was to remain outcasts of the society in which they lived They also stopped using Spanish on their own accord in order to assimilate and become what was considered American The story tells us how Rodriguez feels about and deals with his familys assimilation He also explains how he feels about each of the languages and using them as well as the changes that take place in his family Using these feeling and actions the author shows us how American society encourages immigrants to accept its culture and become part of it In Gains and Losses Rodriguez explains how he views the English and Spanish languages as two totally different things He refers to the two as incongruent and when the teachers come into his home and speak English it is a clash of two worlds 50 In this he shows us that he doesnt feel that the two can coexist that there is a choice one or the other He also refers to Spanish as a private language and English as a public language In doing this he implies that he feels comfortable speaking Spanish and it is more personal for him It has more meaning English for him is just a language for communicating not an expression of feelings He doesnt want to use English in his home he doesnt believe that he can speak a single public language 49 This tells us that he doesnt think that he can just use
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