The author, Amy Tan is a fictional writer who is “fascinated by language in daily life” and inscribes her love for language into her work. As the article, “Mother Touge” progressed into the beginning paragraphs, she realized the different types of “Englishes” she uses. She was giving a speech to an audience with her mother in the crowd about her new book when she realized the language she speaks to the audience is different from her conversation with her mom. Then, later in the book she was walking with her husband and mother and noticed one of her “Englishes”. This type of English, “No waste money that way”, was a personal language that she only used around her family. She did not speak this “limited” language in public or professional settings because of judgment and disrespect. She …show more content…
During school, Tan would be persuaded by her teachers to focus in math and sciences rather than English. She understood that English was a greater challenge because of the environment she was raised in as a child. Tan scored in the lower percentile in English sections while scoring in the ninetieth percentile in math and science, but she was not discouraged and went against all advice from teachers. Tam changed her major from pre-med to English and decided to become a freelance writer. As time grew, Tan started writing fictional stories influenced by her mother. She wrote her stories for people like her with “broken” or “limited” English. This short story does not directly apply to my life because I was born in the United States with American parents, but as a student at a university I can see the affects in other student’s lives. Most foreign students are treated different, and I can admit to treating these students different. Also, African Americans are usually associated with slang or thug talk which is not always the
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysShow More
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?
An individual’s background is where one comes from and how he or she is raised. Tan is Chinese American. She has a traditional Chinese mother who speaks “broken” English. Tan states that, “It has always bothered me that I can think of no way to describe it other than ‘broken’, as if it were damaged and needed to be fixed[. . .]” (Tan 43). Tan is an American school girl. As Tan listens to her mother use that type of dialect, it causes her perception of her mother to be distraught. Tan believed it “[. . .] reflected the quality of what [her mother] had to say” (Tan 43). For instance, department store clerks, bank employees and restaurant workers will ignore her mother when they can not understand her. Tan is a writer who loves the use of language. She says, “Language is the tool of my trade. And I use them all-all the Englishes I grew up with” (Tan 41). She is able to adapt her dialect to her audience. With her mother, she uses “broken” English; with her colleagues, she uses correct English grammar.
Both the brains and the hearts of the audience have been convinced. She also used many rhetorical strategies, like emotional appeal to convey her rough childhood to the reader. She gave numerous examples of being discriminated, and stereotyped because of their race. Tan’s audience reaches out to family members who speak broken English. Amy Tan also comprehends that although people may not be able to speak perfect English, they can comprehend what others are saying, and that you shouldn't discriminate others because of their race. A persons understanding of someone who speaks “broken-English” could be very limited, but the wisdom of the “broken English” speaker is
As an African American male, I experienced inequality, and judgment from individuals that have no idea what kind of person I truly am. As a youth, I received a lackluster education, which has resulted in me underachieving in a number of my college classes. It has come to my attention that other colored students are currently experiencing and receiving the same inadequate learning environment and educatio...
In her article “ Mother Tongue,” Amy Tan, author of The Joy Luck Club, argues that she speaks many “Englishes,” and although some people may not understand Tan’s mother’s limited English, but Tan thinks that her mother’s informal language is the most intimate and expressive language in Tan’s life.
Because Amy Tan 's short story is somewhat based on her life, and therefore her society, her characters are distinctly human, and their motivations are relatable to her readers. In the first line of the story, the narrator states that her “mother taught her the art of invisible strength.” and in the next paragraph we
Therefore we can say that African Americans were the ones that when through the struggles for a better life and recognition in the racist society. Even though the author writes his plot after the story had happen, many readers was able to grab the main concepts and ideas from the story. In today’s society, racism and classism is the most important topic among many industry, school and business places. For the story itself, it can be seen that even if you have education and social power in
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.
Tan first presented a love for her mother. The words and candour of speech that her mother uses reminds her of home and family. Her mother’s way of speaking seems natural to Tan and shaped how she interacted and reflected on the world around her. Tan took issue with the term “broken” as a description of her mother 's language because she saw nothing broken or limited in the way that her mother was able to share ideas. The limits for her mother was not how she organized her words in her sentences but rather it was how people would treat her when they heard her speak the way she does. Tan became accustomed to dealing with authorities who would not listen to her mother 's broken language. The stockbroker who tried not to pay her and the doctor who ‘lost’ her test results. Tan however also believes that her mother limited her in the way she was able to learn and what she excelled at in school. Math and sciences came easier to Tan than language, she struggled with the ambiguity of writing. Tan out of rebellion and passion started to write seriously and went on to write novels like The Joy Luck Club with complex sentence structure and academic words. She later found that using her family and her mother’s English that she was able to see her mother for her true ideas and passion. Her story is one of a second generation
The diction that one uses can provoke a varied response, as seen in articles by Amy Tan and Firoozeh Dumas. Tan’s work, “Mother Tongue”, reminisces several anecdotes related to her mother’s “broken English” and the negative reactions by advanced English speakers. Tan recognizes her own tendency, when at home or with family, to slip back into the
Despite growing up amidst a language deemed as “broken” and “fractured”, Amy Tan’s love for language allowed her to embrace the variations of English that surrounded her. In her short essay “Mother Tongue”, Tan discusses the internal conflict she had with the English learned from her mother to that of the English in her education. Sharing her experiences as an adolescent posing to be her mother for respect, Tan develops a frustration at the difficulty of not being taken seriously due to one’s inability to speak the way society expects. Disallowing others to prove their misconceptions of her, Tan exerted herself in excelling at English throughout school. She felt a need to rebel against the proverbial view that writing is not a strong suit of someone who grew up learning English in an immigrant family. Attempting to prove her mastery of the English language, Tan discovered her writing did not show who she truly was. She was an Asian-American, not just Asian, not just American, but that she belonged in both demographics. Disregarding the idea that her mother’s English could be something of a social deficit, a learning limitation, Tan expanded and cultivated her writing style to incorporate both the language she learned in school, as well as the variation of it spoken by her mother. Tan learned that in order to satisfy herself, she needed to acknowledge both of her “Englishes” (Tan 128).
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.
an African American has made some moments in my life hard. It has showcased to me that I considered a subordinate as Tatum would say. To add, being a subordinate inside and outside of the classroom has also played a huge part in my life. My first revelation of my race and how it defined me and how people perceive me can be at the age of six. Leading up to this point I was the type of child who found joy in things the many black kids would not. For instance, I would read books before I would think about going outside to play with other kids. To accompany this passion for reading I have a proper dialect, or as people in the African American Culture would say, I talked “white.” I did not
Language is like a blooming flower in adversity – they are the most rare and beautiful of them all as it struggles to express itself. It blooms and flourishes in strength, awe, and passion as the riches of thought is imbibed from the seed and into a finished beauty. For others, a non-native person speaking in a language that they are not familiar with sprouts out like a weed – the way its thorns can puncture sympathy and comprehensibility. Amy Tan, however, addresses the nature of talk as being unique under its own conditions. In Tan's “Mother Tongue”, she discusses how her mother's incoherent language is “broken” and “limited” as compared to other native English speakers. When focusing on Amy Tan, she grows noticeably embarrassed with her mother's lack of acuteness in the language, which then influences Tan to “prove her mastery over the English language.” However, she soon learns from herself and -- most importantly -- her mother that a language's purpose is to capture a person's “intent, passion, imagery, and rhythm of speech and nature of thought.” With such an enticing elegance...