In the text, Pocho, by Jose Antonio Villarreal, education plays an important role of explaining the characteristics of the immigrants during the 1930’s. Education is one way for readers to have an experience of what they have been through. During the investigation between the protagonist Richard and sheriff, Richard speaks out some words that the sheriff does not understand. Villarreal writes, “ You mean homosexual? No, he wasn’t- this was a new word to the man. He was on the force because his sister had married a man who had something to do with the Chief of Police… Goddamn! Where’d you learn the big word?” (Villarreal, 89). This is an example of education because here the sheriff is investigating Richard by asking him for information about Joe Pete Manoel. Richard responds with a big word “homosexual” to the sheriff that he did not understand. This is a highlight of the time period when it does not need any education to be a patrolman in Santa Clara. Education is the process of receiving or giving systematic instruction, at a school. Jose Antonio Villarreal directly mention in the texts of Richard’s thoughts about his teacher at school. During the conversation between Richard and Mary, Richard gives out his thought when the teacher does not inform the same answer from what he read on a book. Richard said “Well, the teachers teach us all kinds of things, and sometimes they’re not really honest about it… sometimes I read things in books that show me teachers are wrong sometimes… they cant be all right, and I don’t like them to always tell me that they know everything, that’s all”. (Villarreal, 71). This is an example of education because during that time, teacher feels like their students are not smart enough to learn two sides of the story. Richard feels that sometimes books can teach him more than what he learns at school. It highlight that during that time education is not an important aspect of the immigrant lives.
During the time of 1930’s, Education is not important to most of Mexicans families. But what makes Richard so special and unique is with his intelligence and desire to learn for his own good. Education make Richard shine as a main character, instead of a twelve-year-old kid, he talks like he is an adult. Richard said, “ Try to understand me. I want to learn, and that is all. I do not want to be something- I am. I do not care about making a lot of money and about what people think and about the family in the way
you speak. I have to learn as much as I can… you would not understand me if I could” (Villarreal, 64). This quote is a portrait of Richard as a young kid with the mentality to learn. Education helps Richard speaks for him and not what his mother wants. It highlight that even in the period of poverty, Richard’s family believe that with education, they will have a better life.