(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.
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.
This essay will show how Tan supports her claim through these rhetorical elements. Tan (2002) shows cause-and-effect structure throughout the text. During her copy, Tan uses this rhetorical element to show her readers how hard it was for her to grow up knowing two languages in America. The following selection from Tan (2002) shows how cause-and-effect is used in her example: “I know this for a fact, because when I was growing up, my mother’s 1) “limited” English limited 2) my perception of her. I was 3) ashamed of her English.
She tells the story of how her mother changed her view on language. While giving a well practiced speech, she realized that the speech sounded wrong. Having her mother in the audience gave her this feeling of doubt. “Recently, I was made keenly aware of the different Englishes I do use” (Tan 35). Throughout Tan’s life she’s had to overcome several difficulties that her mother’s “limited English” have brought upon her.
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.
Tan learned that in order to satisfy herself, she needed to acknowledge both of her “Englishes” (Tan 128). The measure of a person is rarely calculated by the limitations and obstacles that surround the individual, but more so how he or she was able to persevere. Growing up with a mother whose English skills were at a bare minimum, many would consider this to be my Achilles heel in furthering my education. Just as Tan said, “I [too] happen to be rebell... ... middle of paper ... ...ch ease, and now is a successful businesswoman in her own right. Just as Tan’s mother did, “my mother has long realized the limitations of her English” (Tan 130).
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.
In this poem an elaborate struggle between pride and shame manifests itself through an extended metaphor in which she equates her book to her own child. "The Author to Her Book" expresses some of the emotions Bradstreet felt when her most intimate thoughts were made know to the world with the publishing of her book. In addition she also relates some of the story as to how her work came to be published. The average person could not relate to the distress Bradstreet feels in this situation. The collection of poetry that she had written expressed her feelings in a way that most women during that time didn’t have the skill to do.
Shaina Lolin Professor Syndee Wood English 100 29 October 2014 Analysis: “Mother Tongue” by Amy Tan The essay “Mother Tongue” by Amy Tan delivers a remarkable point about linguistic discrimination without specifically showing anger. It’s a story about Tan and her mother, and the language they share together, which is an imperfect variation of English. Tan establishes that language is her tool for being a writer. She loves the power of language, and she uses all the languages she’s familiar with in her writing. When Tan says languages, she’s referring to the two variations of English she frequently uses; perfect English, and the “simple” English she uses when speaking to her Chinese mother.
It’s my mother’s tongue. Her language, as I hear it, is vivid, direct, full of observation and imagery. That was the language that helped shape the way I saw things, expressed things, made sense of the world” (491). Tan states that her mother’s English is perfect and easy to understand. In my experience, my mother’s English is difficult to interpret because she makes English sounds like Vietnamese.