Essay on Amy Tan's Mother Tongue

Essay on Amy Tan's Mother Tongue

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Amy Tan's Mother Tongue


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?

The audience Tan is reaching are people who are very ignorant to the fact that others who speak broken English, regardless of race, know that they are taken advantage of and are not given the respect that a fluent English speaking person would get. The essay is also aimed toward people who can relate to the ?language of intimacy? (36), which is a different sort of English ...


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Amy Tan, in ?Mother Tongue,? Does an excellent job at fully explaining her self through many different ways. It?s not hard to see the compassion and love she has for her mother and for her work. I do feel that her mother could have improved the situation of parents and children switching rolls, but she did the best she could, especially given the circumstances she was under. All in all, Amy just really wanted to be respected by her critics and given the chance to prove who she is. Her time came, and she successfully accomplished her goals. The only person who really means something to her is her mother, and her mother?s reaction to her first finished work will always stay with her, ?so easy to read? (39).

Works Cited:

Tan, Amy. "Mother Tongue." Across Cultures. Eds. Sheena Gillespie and Robert Singleton.

Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1999. 26-31.

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