Language & Identity

1485 WordsOct 15, 20126 Pages
Major Paper 1: Personal Essay on Language and Identity Language partially defines identity, it only defines identity to a certain degree, one’s actions and life choices could also define identity to some extent. I think this is an arguable claim because, truly, language and the way we speak does define us partially at least. Language can never define us completely. I think what really makes my claim arguable is the fact that I chose the middle ground, language may define us but not to a full extent, life decisions may also help shape one’s identity and therefore define it. When a person speaks loudly and uses aggressive language that doesn’t necessarily mean that he is an awful person, he could still be a nice person and might be there…show more content…
The use of “could” from Baldwin tells me that Baldwin knows that this is not always the case, language does not always define the identity of some people or that it is not the only key which defines the identities of mankind. Anzaldua says “So, if you want to really hurt me, talk badly about my language, ethnic identity is twin skin to linguistic identity – I am my language. Until I can take pride in my language, I cannot take pride in myself.” ( 345.) Anzaldua was saying here that she cannot take pride in herself until she accepts Chicano Texas Spanish and Tex-Mex as legitimate languages. She was very honest here when expressing her feeling ( an example of pathos ). This quote supports my claim, here Anzaldua is talking about “ethic identity” and “linguistic identity”, and she specifically mentions those types of identities because those types are completely defined by one’s spoken language and origins. However, there is a whole lot more to identity than just linguistic and ethnic identities. I fully agree with Anzaldua, language is an important part of me and I would be hurt to see anyone talk badly about the language I grew up learning. Language like I said in my claim defines identity so when you speak badly about It, you’re speaking badly of what defines my identity, what
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