Analysis Of Mother Tongue By Amy Tan

913 WordsMay 21, 20164 Pages
Analysis of "Mother Tongue" by Amy Tan In the narrative essay, “Mother Tongue” by Amy Tan, the author sets out the story between her mother, whose English is her second language, and Tan herself can speak native English very well. The essay covers the tonal shift of Amy Tan 's psychological change, from grudge to understanding. Although she begins the essay saying, " I am not a scholar of English or literature. I cannot give you much more than personal opinions on the English language and its variations in the country or others." The essay uses personal narrative and pathos to tell us that language is not the only key to communication. But sometimes, people use it as a tool to measure individual value. Tan is very attached to her mother’s English to the point that she doesn’t want to refer to it as “broken.” To her it symbolizes home because it’s the English she grew up with. She says it provides imagery and emotions that standard, grammatically-correct English cannot.However, Tan’s mother’s English also symbolizes the limitations of immigrants in America and the challenges they have to face to be accepted. She alludes to several instances where people, even a doctor, would not take her mother seriously because of the way she spoke.The title of the essay itself is a pun: it describes both the non standard English that Tan 's mother, a Chinese immigrant, uses and the native speaker 's English, the "mother tongue ', in which Tan is herself

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