Summary Of How To Tame A Wild Tongue

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Language is a fascinating tool that humans created as a means of communication. There are hundreds of different ones throughout the various cultures and regions around the world. Unfortunately, at the same time, language can cause separate borders between many various cultures. A great essay demonstrating this is How to Tame a Wild Tongue by Gloria Anzaldúa. Anzaldúa describes her feelings about the many cultural and social difficulties Mexican immigrants face in the United States. One brutal example is one of the author’s earlier experiences, “I [Anzaldúa] remember being caught speaking Spanish at recess-that was good for three licks on the knuckles with a sharp ruler. I remember being sent to the corner of the classroom for “talking back”…show more content…
Even though the essay chapter was published in 1987, it still portrays the problems very well in modern times. For the most part, when visiting any certain country, and if you want to be respected, you are expected to know the main tongue or English. Otherwise, you’ll be treated less compared to its everyday citizens. A strong and prime example of this is when Anzaldúa was violently attacked by his American teachers for speaking Spanish in the United States, a primarily English speaking country. Her teacher even said, “If you want to be American, speak ‘American.’ If you don’t like it, go back to Mexico where you belong” (157). English has been made a standard necessity for society; people are expected to know it. Unfortunately, this is not the case for other languages; it only applies to English. I believe it is unethical for a foreign to have to know English but an American doesn’t need to know a foreigner 's language. Anzaldúa made a great argument, “Attacks on one’s form of expression with the intent to censor are a violation of the First Amendment” (157). Any individual shouldn’t have their form of expression disproved or attacked for any…show more content…
I was raised in a small town in the Philippines where the main language we spoke was Filipino. At the same time though, English was a requirement and taught in the educational system. It was basic things; enough to able to speak and understand other English speakers at a standard level. Over there though, no one spoke English unless the person you were talking to didn’t understand Filipino. I never fully grasped the English language until I moved to America. Even then, it took a while to lose my accent and learn the language. Speaking from experience, I can relate to the struggle the author went through. In the United States, I had to learn English to be successful and move further in life. While I still keep to my Filipino roots and traditions, I still find it unethical to have to assimilate to American culture because society told me to. However, I am still happy to be

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