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Mother Tongue By Amy Tan

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Mother Tongue is a story that describes how Amy Tan’s mother was treated unfairly because of her “broken English”. As the second generation of Chinese immigrants, Tan faces more problems than her peers do. Her mom, who speaks “limited” English, needs Tan to be her “translator” in order to communicate with the native English speakers. Tan has felt ashamed of her mother “broken” language at first. She then contemplates her background affected her life and her study. However, she changes her thought at the end since she realizes things behind language might be more valuable than language itself sometimes. Through the various different literary devices and rhetorical strategies such as the ethos, pathos, and logos appeals, as well as a…show more content…
As a result, the audiences will probably pay more attention to the author’s notion, and they are more easily to be persuaded. Along with strong ethos appeals, Tan also effectively makes use of logos. Tan has mentions her mom “reads the Forbes report, listens to Wall Street Week, converses daily with her stockbroker, reads all of Shirley MacLaine 's books with ease-all kinds of things I can 't begin to understand” (Zapico, 30). It is reasonable to think someone who reads the Forbes report is intelligent or at least knowledgeable. However, the truth is this reader of the Forbes report is a “broken English” speaker. She continues “Yet some of my friends tell me they understand 50 percent of what my mother says. Some say they understand 80 to 90 percent. Some say they understand none of it, as if she were speaking pure Chinese” (Zapico, 30). This use of statistics gives her audiences an inside look into her world and provides evidence that she really knows what she is trying to convince. The mother in the essay represents for the Asian American community as first-generation. Tan evokes an image in the American readers’ mind that first-generation Asian Americans are much more intelligent than what they can convey through words. For this reason, they deserve to be treated the same as others. Although Tan doesn’t focus on using much logos in this essay, all her arguments are logical, and perhaps the audience are able to be
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