Borders Made by Our Language Imagine moving to a new country and having to learn a foreign language. You do not seem able to speak without your accent and some words in your native language are coming out instead. Furthermore, you are unable to speak without pausing after almost every word. You are constantly looked down upon. People constantly correct your pronunciation and word choice. People look at you like you are not even speaking the same language. Thus, you only speak with people in your same social structure. They—like yourself—moved and had to learn the language of your new home. So, together you kept your native language alive and only talk to them because you know they will not judge you. In my opinion, This is reflective of …show more content…
This definition is further expanded by Gloria Anzaldúa in “How to Tame a Wild Tongue”. In “How to Tame a Wild Tongue,” Anzaldúa (1987) mentions how at school, they were trying to get rid of her Mexican accent when she spoke English. They claimed that in order “to be American, [she had to] “speak ‘American,’” if not she should “go back to Mexico” (p.144). This was further enforced by her mother by stating, “I want you to speak English” without an accent, so that Anzaldúa can have a good job (p. 144). Here, Anzaldúa is saying that linguistic borders are physical in that once you cross a national border, like the U.S. – Mexico border, you must speak the country’s national language. Furthermore, you must speak it the way that it is spoken among the people and you cannot have your native tongue accent. Due to her mother’s support, this belief is not only supported by the people born in the country, but by the those who immigrated. Anzaldúa expands to claim that they are not only physical borders, but at the same time they are figurative borers. According to Anzaldúa, they are figurative, linguistic borders have a dual purpose for that separating and forming an identity. Anzaldúa (1987) claims that the “Chicano Spanish,” English and Spanish mixed together, “developed naturally” because “of the Chicanos’ need to identify [themselves] as distinct people” (p. 146). This was because they
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This voluntary (yet forced) alienation makes for psychological conflict, a kind of dual identity--we don’t identify with the Anglo-American cultural values and we don’t totally identify with the Mexican cultural values. We are a synergy of two cultures with various degree of Mexicanness or Angloness. So I have internalized the borderland conflict that sometimes I feel like one cancels out the other and we are zero, nothing, no one (1590).
Up to “half a year passed…” (Rodriguez, 287) until his teachers “…began to connect [his] behaviour with the difficult progress of [his] older sister and brother were making” (287). Note the fact that the teacher’s realization was because of his siblings and not because of his solitude, silent attitude. The message, as Anzaldua perfectly evokes in his short story, is that it’s our very “tongue [which] diminishes our sense of self” (298). A similar image Anzaldua depicts in ‘How to Tame a Wild Tongue’ – coincidently at the rather beginning of the text just like Rodriguez – is when the Anglo teacher said “If you want to be American, speak ‘American’. If you don’t like it, go back to Mexico where you belong” (295). On this occasion, Anzaldua’s mother also tells him off as she was “…mortified that [her son] spoke English like a Mexican” (295). Here, the pressure derives from the mom and the teacher, making Anzaldua feel out of place. He believes that “wild tongues can’t be tamed, they can only be cut” (295) emphasizing that one’s identity must be forgotten if he/she wants to learn another language (English), ultimately gaining a new identity. Another example of lack of identity recognition is when Kingston, in ‘Tongue Tied’, specifies that only the Chinese girls were left out when the class went to the auditorium. Kingston “…knew the silence had to do with being a Chinese girl” (284), hence, her self-esteem diminishes, she feels excluded from the class;
In Richard Rodriguez’s article Private Language, Public Language Rodriguez uses his introduction to language to show the difference, to him, between his home language, of Spanish, and that of what he considers public, that of English. Language as he says is separated by “Just opening or closing the screen door,” it was the difference between being home in his own language and being in the world of the gringos, or white English speaking person.
Gloria Anzaldua, the author of “How to Tame a Wild Tongue,” expresses a very strong tie that she has to her native language. Anzaldua grew up in the United States, but spoke mostly Spanish. She did not speak the normal form of Spanish though; she spoke Chicano Spanish, a language very close to her heart. The text focuses on the idea of her losing her home accent, or tongue, to conform to the environment she is growing up in. From a very young age, Anzaldua knows that she is not treated the same as everyone else is treated. She knows that she is second to others, and her language is far from second to others as well. Anzaldua stays true to her language by identifying herself with her language and keeping
The rhetorical situation of Gloria Anzaldua’s, “How to Tame a Wild Tongue” from her book Borderlands/La Frontera, is the most important piece to her argument. A writer’s rhetorical situation is the use of the elements of the rhetor, audience, text, medium, context and exigence. Through the correct use of these pieces, a writer is able to greatly strengthen their argument and persuasive abilities. In her passage, Gloria Anzaldua is speaking to the unfair and unjust treatment of Spanish speaking children growing up in the United States educational system. These are not just kids who have moved here from a Spanish speaking country, but even those born in the United States that grew up speaking Spanish because of their family’s culture. Through her writing she wants to bring this into light to induce change and help children of the future be able to learn in an environment where they are also able to comfortable speak their own language. She is not looking for them to be able to speak their own language in an American school just because she wants to be difficult. In her eyes, your language is part of your identity of self. And without your language, you are also losing part of yourself. Again, she expresses and increases the persuasiveness of these ideas through the use of her rhetorical situation, which includes the rhetor, audience, text, medium, context and exigence.
Activist, Gloria Anzaldua’s narrative excerpt “How to Tame a Wild Tongue” She goes into depth of ethnic identity, while knocking down walls of linguistic and identity down. How one would identify themselves while broadcasting the struggles any person with culture has felt. She uses ethos, pathos, and logos alongside all five senses. Making the reader feel as though they witness the struggles she went through if not witness then actually experienced. Anzaldua’s thesis is that language is a part of one’s identity. It is what makes a person who they and connects them to their roots. People shouldn't let others try to tame their tongue or cut off their native language; because once they do and are given that power they can disconnect the person from their culture and roots.
In Richard Rodriguez's essay , “ Aria: A Memoir of a Bilingual Childhood ” he writes about how he struggled as a child who only spoke Spanish language but lives in a society where the “public” language is English . He believes that speaking proper English will somehow help him fit into society and find his “true” identity. Throughout the essay he contrast the Spanish language identity and English language identity. As a young boy, Rodriguez finds consolation and safety in his home where they only speak Spanish. He feels that he only has a true identity when he is at home surrounded by those who speak the same language as him . On the contrary , he becomes trapped and disoriented when not being able to speak / understand the English language . He feels as if he is not part of “their world” and has no identity in society. By comparing and contrasting Spanish language identity and English language identity . Rodriguez's essay is an example that speaking different languages should not make anyone choose an identity . In fact being able to speak and understand multiple languages in his case Spanish and English makes the language a part of his identity, but with two different sides .
In the essay,” How to Tame a Wild Tongue,” Anzaldua talks about the Chicanos people are betraying their culture for speaking the dominant discourse and how it’s affecting their self identity. Anzaldua informs to the Chicanos that they are ruining the Chicanos Spanish by speaking another language, especially the English discourse. The reason for the people in Chicanos are translating the English discourse is because that their culture language is unheard to other people and they don’t want to be embarrassed.Thus, leaving the Chicanos people to speak the discourse as a neutral language, so they won’t feel embarrassed of their culture. But regardless, Anzaldua disapprove the idea of the Chicanos people to use the English dominant discourse instead of their own, not only damaging their culture, but
When Anzaldua says “So, if you want to really hurt me, talk badly about my language” she wants you to feel every aspect of what she is saying. In “How to Tame a Wild Tongue” she persuades her readers to believe the way she feels and that she has went through hell to fight for what she believes in.
Unconsciously, we all speak different languages; we categorize the way we speak by the environment and people at which we are speaking too. Whenever a character enters an unfamiliar environment, they experiment with language to find themselves and understand reality. For immigrants, language is a means to retain one’s identity; however, as they become more assimilated in their new communities their language no longer reflects that of their identity but of their new cultural surroundings. When an immigrant, immigrates to a new country they become marginalized, they’re alienated from common cultural practices, social ritual, and scripted behavior. It’s not without intercultural communication and negotiation
David Newman’s article, “The Lines that Continue to Separate Us” and Guillermo Galindo’s art piece “Pinata de Cartuchos” both define powerful borders and heavily relate to the border that I faced throughout my senior year of high school with my peers and
The thing about discrimination is that it would take everyone’s cooperation to make it disappear even just for a second but even if that happened, who says that it wouldn’t spawn up again from someone’s grudge from another. Discrimination from the use of a language is very common. In Sistah Tongue, Kanae’s little brother, Harold-boy, was discriminated by his mother. The mother said that “you not going get one good job is you no talk good English (Kanae).” Kanae thinks that the mother think Harold-Boy has one “speech impediment” which Kanae thinks that idea is “mento”, which is crazy. She thinks that idea is crazy because Kanae believes that Harold-boy is smart and he can communicate with his family just fine. I can relate to this because I was told that speaking Pidgen in the classroom or in the work place is improper and it is not “professional”. When I was a senior in high school, I was in IB and advanced placement classes and I used to speak Pidgen in class. That was until the teacher of my IB English class called me out and told me to not speak like that in class. When I did speak it, everyone would give me a dirty look trying to say “what are you doing?” Also in my senior year I worked at a frozen yogurt shop called Orange Grove. I always felt that I shouldn’t talk to costumers in Pidgen because I would feel that would be doing something wrong. But now I question that because would I really be doing
In Manuel Muñoz essay called “Leave Your Name at the Border”, Mexican people choose to change their first name to English name for kinds of advantages that being assimilated can bring to people’s daily lives. Thus, more and more people choose to follow the mainstream
In the short story “Borderlands”, Anzaldua uses a technique which crafts a metaphorical meaning for the reader. Anzaldua uses a metaphor in order to express the words, put chili into the borscht, having a metaphorical meaning of the chili in the borscht because of it explaining a mexican and russian cultures combing together. It also is a reference to acculturation because it suggests the mix of two cultural traditional foods. “Chili in the borscht” (1). The line chili in the borscht is a reference to assamlination because it’s combining the mexican and russian culture; which is a reference leading to a terminal conflict. Anzaldua creates a conflict between the different races by suggesting betrayal in the quote. “To live in the borderlands
Elizabeth Lozano English 101 Mrs. 13 November 2014 The Individual and Society There are two readings in which can be seen implying the relationship between the individual and society, “How to Tame a Wild Tongue”, by Gloria Anzaldua and “Shooting an Elephant”, by George Orwell. These readings speak of an incident that arises within a culture and what they had to face in order to be accepted by society. For instance, Gloria Anzaldua expresses the social (and cultural) stresses that Latin immigrants have to face when being raised in the United States. On the other hand, George Orwell describes the effects and downfall of imperialism while creating a story line of the pressure that society causes in order for an individual to do what is