Mother Tongue Amy Tan Summary

Decent Essays

"Mother Tongue" by Amy Tan is an essay written about and to the author's mother. In it, Ms. Tan highlights the different "Englishes" that she uses in her life in contrast to the English she speaks with her mother. She explores the difference between her mother's English and that of other people, as well as her own English when speaking with her mother versus others. The author also addresses the way that her mother is seen by the outside world because of the way she speaks and the judgment and discrimination that accompany this viewpoint. In this analysis essay, I hope to encourage the reader to think beyond initial assumptions and realize that perception is not reality. The article's theme of language shaping perception is well evidenced by Tan's examples of the different dialects of English of her life, as well as through her examples of miscommunication, negative stereotyping, and even discrimination against immigrants, especially her mother.
The author's goal in this article is to show that perception is not always reality. This is a very true and valid point. There is much we can learn about a person if we take the time to go beneath the surface and see who they really are. Ms. Tan's mother’s English is seen to be "broken, fractured or limited" and therefore she is viewed as being limited as well. "...when I was growing up, my mother's "limited" English limited my perception of her. I was ashamed of her English. I believed that her English reflected the quality of

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