What Is The Mother Tongue Summary By Amy Tan

1254 Words6 Pages
Amy Tan, the author of The Joy Luck Club, talks about in the article, Mother Tongue, how her mother’s broken English would affect her daily life, how people treat her because of it, and how she felt about her mother’s language. She also talks about when she was in school she was pushed towards science and maths because of her cultural background, as an Asian American student; when she really wanted to write English and become an English major. In the beginning paragraph of the article Tan explains how she has to depict the different Englishes she uses through her daily life in writing and how she is able to deal with it. Tan recently knew about the different type of Englishes she uses daily. When speaking to a group of people about her book,…show more content…
Tan gave examples of words that she never used around her mother, words not spoken in her presents, pretty much for the first time. One evening while walking with her mother and husband…show more content…
“While my English skills were never judged as poor, compared to math, English could not be considered my strong suit.” (636-7). Her grades in English were considered low and not good enough to achieve what she wanted to be, while her science and math grades were the highest they can be. Going on to explain the way that “answers on English test were always a judgement call” (637), saying there are more than one answer for things on the tests, just depending on how it was worded or the wording needing to be placed in for the answer. She goes on and talks about analogies, find words that mean the same thing or have a relationship with one another, and how it was the same for that. “I’ve been asked, as a writer, why there are not more Asian Americans represented in American literature. Why are there few Asian Americans enrolled in creative writing programs? Why do so many Chinese students go into engineering?” (638). She believes that it is because many have a “broken” or “limited” English at home or their teachers are pushing them to go for some other career choice. Luckily she wanted to be different and choose her own path in life instead of having one chosen for her. When she first started writing she wanted to use sentences and words that showed people she understood the English language, from a the first draft of her book,
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