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The role of the English language in Richard Rodriguezs Gains and Losses The essay Gains and Losses by Richard Rodriguez deals with one of the most important and controversial questions in American societywhat is the role of the English language in the United States and throughout the rest of the world As one finishes this essay though one might be left with an additional and possibly quite different question what role should the English language play in the United States and throughout the rest of the world I have long believed that English is most definitely a national language in the United States but that it should not be the United States official language Rodriguezs essay is unique in that it supports this idea from his personal experience The childhood story which Richard Rodriguez tells here should be more than enough to convince anyone that it is imperative that the English language is not forced upon everyone who lives in the United States and that the United States never adopts English or any other language for that matter as its official language Throughout this essay Rodriguez constantly refers to the contradicting public and private aspects of his familys life It is interesting to note though that references to his private life grow fewer and fewer as he progresses through the essay Towards the beginning of his story Rodriguez refers to both his public life and his private life equally and he makes a particularly important distinction between these two lives when he says that he wrongly imagined that English was intrinsically a public language and Spanish an intrinsically private one 49 He talks about how as a child he had a pleasing family life 49 and it seems obvious that one reason for this pleasing family life is the fact that when he was with his family they spoke in their native tongue Spanish As the essay progresses he and his family are
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