Dominant Language Analytical Essay by Research Group

Dominant Language
This paper explores Richard Rodriguez's "The Achievement of Desire" and Gloria Anzald?a's "How to Tame a Wild Tongue".
# 26840 | 1,672 words | 2 sources | MLA | 2002 | US

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This paper examines difficulties associated with connections between writing style and the content of argument in essays written about the power of language by Richard Rodriguez and Gloria Anzald?a. The paper outlines the main ideas of each essay and then discusses the means by which the arguments are made and ways in which the authors' writing styles make an impact on their ideas.

From the Paper:

"In both Rodriguez's "The Achievement of Desire" and Anzaldua's "How to Tame a Wild Tongue," the subject matter is the social power of language and the need for Spanish-language users to acquire the dominant language in order to achieve social benefits. But as the essays show, the attitude toward this process is quite different in Anzaldua and Rodriguez. Anzaldua seems hostile to the English language and to a culture that does not honor the Spanish language in general or various Spanish dialects in particular. Her general response is one of defiance, for example when she says that to attack an individual's form of expression (in her case, speaking her Chicano Spanish dialect at school) with the intent to censor "is a violation of the First Amendment" (40). She makes it very clear that she is determined to be linguistically free despite English oppression -- "free to write bilingually and to switch [linguistic] codes without always having to translate" (41). She is determined always to have a "wild tongue." If Rodriguez is hostile to the same culture, he does not seem to be hostile to either Spanish or English per se. Instead, he develops the view that in American culture, where one language only and educational accomplishment are connected to social and material benefit, those who seize the power of language and education are more likely to obtain those benefits. But this is a mixed blessing because obtaining those benefits may force emotional and cultural separation from family members who lack language or educational accomplishments."

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

Dominant Language (2003, May 19) Retrieved February 23, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Dominant Language" 19 May 2003. Web. 23 February. 2020. <>