Amy Tan Mother Tongue Thesis

637 Words2 Pages
In “Mother Tongue,” Amy Tan aims to reveal the cultural bias on types of language by appealing to her reader throughout the argument. Throughout the essay, she states that all forms of English are valid, proves that people with so-called broken English are treated poorly, and uses both personal experience as well as broad examples to prove her point, all the while utilizing both ethos and logos to appeal to her audience. Tan begins the essay by stating her belief that all types of English, labelled broken or not, should hold validity in American culture. She states this early in the first portion of the argument: “all the forms of standard English that I had learned in school and through books, the forms of English I did not use at home with my mother.” Tan’s word choice is the first feature that shows what she…show more content…
With the phrase “all the forms of English,” she implies that there is, in fact more than one English, not only the one spoken in schools. She also appeals, through pathos, to any reader who may have had a similar upbringing, using one language with their family and another at school. This emotional allure is effective, as it bonds Tan with the reader and therefore creates a sort of trust between the two. She further proves her point while informing her reader that her “mother's expressive command of English belies how much she actually understands. (Her mother) reads the Forbes report, listens to Wall Street Week, converses daily with her stockbroker, reads all of Shirley MacLaine's books with ease.” The activities in which Tan’s mother engages are generally known to be fairly difficult to comprehend, and Tan herself admits to having a hard time understanding them, despite

More about Amy Tan Mother Tongue Thesis

Open Document