Amy Tan’s A Mother’s Tongue The purpose of Amy Tan’s essay, “Mother Tongue,” is to show how challenging it can be if an individual is raised by a parent who speaks “limited English” (36) as Tan’s mother does, partially because it can result in people being judged poorly by others. As Tan’s primary care giver, her mother was a significant part of her childhood, and she has a strong influence over Tan’s writing style. Being raised by her mother taught her that one’s perception of the world is heavily based upon the language spoken at home. Alternately, people’s perceptions of one another are based largely on the language used. Tan was born to a pair of Chinese immigrants.
The doctor at this moment was not cooperating with her mother due to her inability to speak English properly. When Amy finally talked to the doctor they were able to find the results and had to give her an apology. This along with many other examples in the essay show how Amy had to help her mother out to get her message across. Using pathos in her stories, Amy Tan is able to connect deeply with those who have encountered such people that speak “broken” English or have judged others in the past. This also makes the audience sympathize for
(Tan 37) The author begins with an introduction to her mother’s style of language. She explains that it is her language that she and her mother share, and it is a “language of intimacy.” (36) Tan makes sure to point out that it is not difficult for her to understand what her mother says. After this introduction Tan begins to tell the reader about stories of how her mother’s limited English had affected her. She writes that she had been ashamed of her mother’s unintelligible English. Her story is about a time when she had to make a phone call for her mother and how she had noticed the way others passed her mother off as a nuisance.
She felt her speech was burdened with forms of English that she normally did not use with her mother. Even though Tans mother spoke "broken" English, Tan argues that her mothers' conversational skill "belies how much she actually understands. She reads the Forbes report, listens to Wall Street Week, converses daily with her stock... ... middle of paper ... ...g. There are many more differences between my Vietnamese life, and my American life besides the linguistic barrier. At home, I am my mothers' quiet but sassy Vietnamese daughter, who pays respects to her elders, and acts like a lady. In American society, I am quite loud, sometimes obnoxious, a tomboy, and very independent.
A.Poulin Jr.. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1991. 182-184. - - - . "On Neal's Ashes". Contemporary American Poetry-5th Edition.
Her novels are mostly about her mother and herself. One of her most popular essay’s is “Mother Tongue.” In this essay, she states that she does not want to be a scholar of English or Literature, but a writer. She wants her readers to see her view on how she feels about English. Tan states, “ I spend a great deal of my time thinking about the power of language-the way it can evoke an emotion, a visual image, a complex idea, or a simple truth.” Through Tan’s writing skills, Tan argues that not being an American can affect the way you are viewed and treated. By evoking emotion, creating a visual image, coming up with a complex idea, and stating a simple truth, Tan proves how her and her mother struggle in real-life in America Tan evoke’s emotion when her mother was mistreated.
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? The audience Tan is reaching are people who are very ignorant to the fact that others who speak broken English, regardless of race, know that they are taken advantage of and are not given the respect that a fluent English speaking person would get.
Her mother has long known her limitations in life because of her English speaking skills. She proves her mother’s limitations in life by telling two stories. One starts off when her mother forced her to talk over the phone when she was just fifteen. She had to talk to her stockbroker in New York, acting as her mother, Mrs. Tan. Her mother already knew they wouldn’t take her seriously because of her English.
Mothers and Daughters in The Joy Luck Club Although mothers and daughters are genetically related, sometimes they seem like complete strangers. When immigrants raise their children in America, there is a great concern for these parents that American culture will negatively affect their children. In the novel, The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, four mothers try to instill their Asian culture into their daughters' lifestyle; however, these daughters rebel against them, due to their desire to assimilate themselves into American culture. Early in the novel, the Joy Luck Club members discuss the different types of mah jong; it is then that Jing Mei realizes how oppositely she and her mother spoke to one another. While these women are explaining the differences in Chinese and Jewish mah jong, Jing Mei plays back the conversations that she and her mother used to have regarding the same topic.