Mother Tongue By Amy Tan

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The article Mother Tongue, by Amy Tan is a personal look into how language, and the dialects of that language, can affect a person 's life. It 's a look into how the people inside the cultural circles who use dialect derivatives of a major language are treated by people who exist outside of those cultural circles. It shows us how society treats a person using a "broken" or "limited" dialect, and how society 's treatment of these people can also affect the children who grow up using these "broken" dialects. Tan wrote this article try and convey to the reader that English is a colorful, and ever-changing language that has many dialects. Tan makes the point, several times throughout the article, that society judges you based on the type of English that you use. Throughout the article, Tan uses both her mother, herself and society 's treatment of them as evidence to support her idea. The purpose of pointing this out is to show the reader that the language a person uses, whether it be taught to them in school or by a parent at home, isn 't indicative of a person 's intelligence or value, and they shouldn 't be judged as less for using it. In the article, Tan furthers her point when she states that her mother, someone who uses a "broken" dialect, can do several things that the author herself struggles with, and does so despite what people outside of her culture or family may think of her. Tan proves her point by stating, "She reads the Forbes report, listens to Wall Street Week, converses daily with her stockbroker, reads Shirley MacLaine 's books with ease." This statement clearly shows her mother 's intelligence by illustrating her hobbies which the author, as a college graduate, struggles with understanding. These subjects, which he... ... middle of paper ... ashamed of her mother and the English she used broke my heart. This is especially true after Tan makes it clear that her mother knew what people thought of her, and that she was being judged unfairly. It seemed that Tan 's mother was even ashamed of herself but helpless against society. This is made even more heart-wrenchingly clear when Tan show the reader that, in order to avoid the shame and judgment, her mother made Tan speak for her frequently. For example, when consulting with her mother 's stockbroker, Tan recounts how it was difficult to listen to her mother tell her what to say and repeat back the reports from the broker. One can only imagine how it felt to her mother, knowing how the world looked at her. How they viewed her as a lesser being. These sections completely changed the entire tone of the piece and makes one feel sympathetic towards their plight

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