A Rhetorical Analysis Of Mother Tongue By Amy Tan

analytical Essay
1022 words
1022 words

Mother Tongue by Amy Tan was one of the best short stories I have ever read and I am excited to analyze it. Tan was born in California to Chinese immigrants. She writes in her story about the struggles she faced with language. Tan makes great use of ethos, pathos and logos in her essay to make her claim that there are many Englishes, and none should be considered wrong. First, I will be discussing Tan’s purpose in writing her story. I believe her purpose is to educate those who are ignorant to other cultures and languages and clear up the stigma about those who speak “broken” English. A great example of her purpose is when she discusses her major in college. Tan is expected as an Asian student in society to study medicine or math. But …show more content…

I became an English major my first year in college, after being enrolled as pre-med.” (Tan 3). Much like in her academic life, Tan believes in disproving critics and those who pigeon-hole people with pre-determined ideas. Her purpose is reflected by her “enjoying the challenge”. In this essay, she also enjoys the challenge of sharing her story and clearing up the negative stigma of broken English. Another example of her purpose is indicated when she explains other people’s ideas of her mom. People use degrading language when describing her mother and other “broken” English speakers. Tan shares her thoughts: “I’ve heard other terms used, ‘limited English,’ for example. But they seem just as bad, as if everything is limited, including people’s perceptions of the limited English speaker.” (Tan 2). Tan’s purpose becomes clear here when she describes people’s negative perception of “broken” English speakers. The last part of that quote is extra powerful, when she describes the English speaker as limited. It is …show more content…

She uses pathos frequently throughout the essay because much of her purpose in writing this story ties into her emotional attachment to her mother. So a lot of the writing includes her trying to get across her personal feelings. A great example of pathos is when she describes a feeling of fulfillment when her mother approves of her book: “…I knew I had succeeded where it counted most when my mother finished reading my book and gave me her verdict: ‘So easy to read.’” (Tan 4). You understand here that Tan’s most important goal of writing is her mother, and much of the rest of the story appeals to pathos using stories of her

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes mother tongue by amy tan, a short story about the struggles she faced with language. tan uses ethos, pathos and logos to claim that there are many englishes.
  • Analyzes how tan's purpose in writing her story is to educate those who are ignorant to other cultures and languages and clear up the stigma about those speaking "broken" english.
  • Analyzes how tan claims that there are many different variations of the english language, and none of them are wrong. she deepens her claim by adding parts of her mother that her "broken" language can never reveal.
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