The Power of a Mother In their articles, Chang Rae-Lee and Amy Tan establish a profound ethos by utilizing examples of the effects their mother-daughter/mother-son relationships have had on their language and writing. Lee’s "Mute in an English-Only World" illustrates his maturity as a writer due to his mother’s influence on growth in respect. Tan, in "Mother Tongue," explains how her mother changed her writing by first changing her conception of language. In any situation, the ethos a writer brings to an argument is crucial to the success in connecting with the audience; naturally a writer wants to present himself/herself as reliable and credible (Lunsford 308). Lee and Tan, both of stereotypical immigrant background, use their memories of deceased mothers to build credibility in their respective articles. Chang Rae-Lee, author of "Mute in an English-Only World," moved to America from Korea when he was only six or seven years old. He adopted the English language quickly, as most children do, but his mother continued to struggle. "For her, the English language…usually meant trouble and a good dose of shame and sometimes real hurt" (Lee 586). It is obvious, though, that his mother was persistent in her attempt to learn English and deal with her limited culture experience, as Lee accounts of her using English flash cards, phrase books and a pocket workbook illustrated with stick-people figures. Lee sympathetically connects with the audience through his mother, and forces them to make a personal conclusion when he ends the article with a lingering question in the reader’s mind; what if they had seen her struggling? Would they have sat back and watched or stepped up to help? Amy Tan, writer of "Mother Tongue," is f... ... middle of paper ... ...can never reveal: intent, passion, imagery, the rhythms of her speech and the nature of thoughts" (Tan 594). Both Chang Rae-Lee and Amy Tan use their articles to illustrate the impact their mothers had on creating a respectable ethos as a writer. Lee and Tan are authentic and true, which are great values instilled by a mother that shine through in their writing. These articles are great examples of how much a writer’s ethos contributes to his/her overall argument. As said by Lee, "Having been raised in an immigrant family,…[one sees] everyday the exacting price and power of language…" (Lee 584). 736 Words Works Cited Lee, Chang-Rae. "Mute in an English-Only World." Lunsford, et al. 584-588. Lunsford, Andrea A., et al. Everything’s an Argument. 2nd Ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2001. Tan, Amy. "Mother Tongue." Lunsford, et al. 589-594.
Chang-Rae Lee’s Native Speaker expresses prominent themes of language and racial identity. Chang-Rae Lee focuses on the struggles that Asian Americans have to face and endure in American society. He illustrates and shows readers throughout the novel of what it really means to be native of America; that true nativity of a person does not simply entail the fact that they are from a certain place, but rather, the fluency of a language verifies one’s defense of where they are native. What is meant by possessing nativity of America would be one’s citizenship and legality of the country. Native Speaker suggests that if one looks different or has the slightest indication that one should have an accent, they will be viewed not as a native of America, but instead as an alien, outsider, and the like. Therefore, Asian Americans and other immigrants feel the need to mask their true identity and imitate the native language as an attempt to fit into the mold that makes up what people would define how a native of America is like. Throughout the novel, Henry Park attempts to mask his Korean accent in hopes to blend in as an American native. Chang-Rae Lee suggests that a person who appears to have an accent is automatically marked as someone who is not native to America. Language directly reveals where a person is native of and people can immediately identify one as an alien, immigrant, or simply, one who is not American. Asian Americans as well as other immigrants feel the need to try and hide their cultural identity in order to be deemed as a native of America in the eyes of others. Since one’s language gives away the place where one is native to, immigrants feel the need to attempt to mask their accents in hopes that they sound fluent ...
The Essay written by Amy Tan titled 'Mother Tongue' concludes with her saying, 'I knew I had succeeded where I counted when my mother finished my book and gave her understandable verdict' (39). The essay focuses on the prejudices of Amy and her mother. All her life, Amy's mother has been looked down upon due to the fact that she did not speak proper English. Amy defends her mother's 'Broken' English by the fact that she is Chinese and that the 'Simple' English spoken in her family 'Has become a language of intimacy, a different sort of English that relates to family talk' (36). Little did she know that she was actually speaking more than one type of English. Amy Tan was successful in providing resourceful information in every aspect. This gave the reader a full understanding of the disadvantages Amy and her mother had with reading and writing. The Essay 'Mother Tongue' truly represents Amy Tan's love and passion for her mother as well as her writing. Finally getting the respect of her critics and lucratively connecting with the reaction her mother had to her book, 'So easy to read' (39). Was writing a book the best way to bond with your own mother? Is it a struggle to always have the urge to fit in? Was it healthy for her to take care of family situations all her life because her mother is unable to speak clear English?
As every well-read person knows, the background in which you grow up plays a huge role in how you write and your opinions. Fuller grew up with a very strict education, learning multiple classic languages before she was eight years old. Fern grew up with writers all throughout her family and had a traditional education and saw first hand the iniquities of what hard-working had to contend with. Through close analysis of their work, a reader can quickly find the connections between their tone, style, content, and purpose and their history of their lives and their educational upbringing.
A good mother-daughter relationship is beneficial for both the mother and the daughter. This definitely comes into play in Amy Tan’s novel titled “The Joy Luck Club.” The story is about four sets of Chinese mothers and daughters, and their first experience of growing in America. All of the mothers want to raise their children in the traditional Chinese way and still allow them to be all that they can be in America. This causes many conflicts between them when the daughters act too American and the mothers act too Chinese. There are also problems when some of the daughters grow and get married to American Men. The mothers influence the daughters with stories of ancestors and eventually the daughters learn that their mothers really do know what they are talking about. Each mother shows their love to their daughter in a different way, and the daughters usually respond to it in a negative manner. There is a lack of communication between the mothers and daughters, which leave a lot of open space for assuming. The daughters seem to inherit a lot of their mother’s characteristics as they get older without even meaning to. In some cases they appear to mirror their mothers. It is as if everything that they have fought against for many years has become them.
“Mother Tongue” by Amy Tan is a story that effectively demonstrates how stereotypes in the world limit people to being able to show their true identity and language. Tan writes specifically about her Chinese mother, who speaks in an accent that frequently causes people to misunderstand or misjudge. Such as Judy in Zootopia, Tan describes how her mother is stereotyped in American as a non-native English speaker. Judy is struggling to fit in with the part of the police officer, while Tan’s mom “Struggles to speak like a true American” (Tan 887). Tan explains how the basic society of America would categorize her mother’s English as “broken” or “fractured” as if it were damaged and needed to be fixed, Thus limiting her mother to truly be herself and speak her
Writers like Amy Tan, use rhetorical writing to display emotional appeal, tone, style, and even organization. In Tan’s article, Mothers Tongue, she writes about her experiences with her mother's inability to speak English. She provides examples from her childhood of being discriminated, and stereotyped because of her race. Tan addresses cultural racism without showing any anger or specifically pointing out racism. She makes the reader realize that immigrants have to deal with discrimination, and disrespect in their daily lives. She uses Ethos, Pathos, and Logos to let the reader see what she went through in her early childhood experiences. Her audience reaches out to families who speak “broken English”, and have to deal with being discriminated, and disrespected.
Asian American writers have become more influential as education continues to expand and students become introduced to cultures other than their own. According to a book written by Harold Bloom, more journals and magazines "have provided space for South Asian American writers" (Bloom, 14), which brings attention to many major issues. Although issues such as race and language barriers may be at the forefront of discussions, the issue of pride is also among great concern for these authors. Maxine Kingston, Gish Jen, Gail Miyasaki, and Amy Tran highlight numerous instances where pride becomes affected, instilling a variety of emotions; shame or joy become evoked by the speaker or a family member(s) in these instances.
Prose appeals to ethos by stating her role in life and displaying a large list of texts in her essay. In the first paragraph she makes sure to state that she is a parent in a long sentence that is divided by many commas and includes an
English is an invisible gate. Immigrants are the outsiders. And native speakers are the gatekeepers. Whether the gate is wide open to welcome the broken English speakers depends on their perceptions. Sadly, most of the times, the gate is shut tight, like the case of Tan’s mother as she discusses in her essay, "the mother tongue." People treat her mother with attitudes because of her improper English before they get to know her. Tan sympathizes for her mother as well as other immigrants. Tan, once embarrassed by her mother, now begins her writing journal through a brand-new kaleidoscope. She sees the beauty behind the "broken" English, even though it is different. Tan combines repetition, cause and effect, and exemplification to emphasize her belief that there are more than one proper way (proper English) to communicate with each other. Tan hopes her audience to understand that the power of language- “the way it can evoke an emotion, a visual image, a complex idea, or a simple truth”- purposes to connect societies, cultures, and individuals, rather than to rank our intelligence.
On further examination, signs of confusion caused by silence and lies in both essays illustrate an identity struggle. Especially, through questioning and presenting their thought process essayists prove their humanity, because they show their desire to understand the core of their writing. For instance, Vivian Gornick explains the vulnerability of essayists in “From The Situation and the Story” and stresses the importance of “a persona” in an essay (168). To achieve this distinct voice essayists are confronted with the challenge to be as honest as they can be. Therefore, the phenomenon of the personal essays is that the process of personal exploration may be heard by the readers. Numerous scholars have debated on the differences between an essay and a memoir. For
In the work of Amy Tan’s “Mother’s Tongue” she provides a look into how she adapted her language to assimilate into American culture. She made changes to her language because her mother heavily relied on her for translation. She was the voice of her mother, relaying information in standard English to those who were unable to understand her mother’s broken english. She tells about her mother’s broken english and its impact on her communication to those outside their culture. Her mothers broken english limited others’ perception of her intelligence, and even her own perception of her mother was scewed: Tan said, “I know this for a fact, because when I was growing up, my mothers ‘limited’ English limited my perception of her. I was ashamed of her English. I believed that her English reflected the quality of what she had to say.” (419) The use of standard english was a critical component to Tan’s assimilation into American culture. Standard English was an element she acquired to help her mother but more importantly is was an element that helped in her gain success as a writer. Tan changed her ‘Englishes’ (family talk) to include standard English that she had learnt in school and through books, the forms of English that she did not use at home with her mother. (417-418) Tan realized the ch...
My mother Annie is from Taishan, a city in China and she speaks Cantonese and Mandarin. Annie is currently 49 years old and now living in Manhattan New York, I chose to interview her because we have a strong mother daughter bond so I thought I would take advantage of this paper to get to know her more. Interestingly enough, there were a couple of things I realized about myself and things I did not know about my mother until I interviewed her.
Tan was born to a pair of Chinese immigrants. Her mother understood English extremely well, but the English she spoke was “broken.”(36) Many people not familiar with her way of speaking found it very difficult to understand her. As a result of this, Tan would have to pretend to be her mother, and she called people up to yell at them while her mother stood behind her and prompted her. This caused Tan to be ashamed of her mother throughout her youth, but as she grew, she realized that the language she shares with her mother is a “language of intimacy” (36) that she even uses when speaking with her husband.
Mother-Daughter Relationships in Amy Tan’s Joy Luck Club In the Joy Luck Club, the author Amy Tan, focuses on mother-daughter relationships. She examines the lives of four women who emigrated from China, and the lives of four of their American-born daughters. The mothers: Suyuan Woo, An-Mei Hsu, Lindo Jong, and Ying-Ying St. Clair had all experienced some life-changing horror before coming to America, and this has forever tainted their perspective on how they want their children raised.