The Bonds of a Language

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The Bonds of a Language Amy Tan is the author of several novels including The Joy Luck Club and The Kitchen God’s Wife. She was born in the United States to parents who immigrated to California from China (Gruber 35). In her article entitled “Mother Tongue”, Tan focuses on the English shared between her mother and herself versus the English that she speaks with everyone else, and how it has affected her outlook on language. Through her examples, she presents to the audience the obstacles faced by her mother’s “limited” English. Tan demonstrates that no matter how much someone may change, the most important things lay back in their roots. Tan directs this article in a certain way to allow for several people to relate. Even though she has the heritage of a Chinese culture, she did grow up in the United States, so she knows what catches people’s interest. She bases the entire article off of experiences that she has had with her own mother and the language barriers her mother has had to put up with. Someone who may not have experienced this first hand would probably not have as strong an argument. Tan also gears the article to a wide audience. Even if someone does not care about language or the struggles to be heard by people who can’t understand you, she throws in interesting stories that catch any reader for a small moment. A good audience for this article is people who deal with those who speak “broken” English, such as those in ESL programs. Tan points out that even though her mother isn’t the best at speaking English, she still comprehends it. Many just assume that her mother’s intelligence is equivalent to her spoken English, which as Tan points out, isn’t true. That may also have been why Ta... ... middle of paper ... ...when you don’t know what they want or need, which Tan probably realizes. In conclusion, Amy Tan allows the reader to see through her eyes and her mother’s eyes. Despite the obvious responsibility put on her shoulders from her mother’s English, Tan still feels a sense of intimacy in that “broken” language. It becomes more of a point that she’s showing the audience the importance of this bond between her mother and her rather than to make them feel sorry for her mother. If her mother spoke as well as Tan does now, then Tan most likely would have turned out different. She learned responsibility and it allowed her to feel passionate about helping other understand English enough to make it a career. It also was a good step in showing options for Asians outside of the engineering field. And lastly, Amy Tan’s mother appears to be very proud of her daughter.
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