Mother Tongue Essay

Decent Essays
Not all people who speak the English language speak it the same way. It is very uncommon to find two people that speak the exact same English because there are so many different forms of the language. This is the argument that Amy Tan makes in her story, “Mother Tongue”. Tan uses pathos to portray to her audience how through her experiences with her mother and the Chinese language she came to realize who she wanted to be and how she wanted to write.
In “Mother Tongue”, Tan discusses the many ways in which the language that she was taught affected her life. Throughout the story, she describes her relationship with her mother, who speaks “broken” English, and how her perception of language has changed due to her mother. Whenever Tan was
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Amy Tan also felt that standardized tests could not accurately determine a person’s intelligence. She effectively makes her argument by using rhetorical devices such as, “I wanted to capture what language ability tests could never reveal: her intent, her passion, her imagery, the rhythms of her speech and the nature of her thoughts” (Tan 768). When she said that standard tests cannot determine a person's true intelligence, she was trying to say how people have different ways of thinking and different types of intelligence, and yet these standard tests only can measure a certain type of intelligence; therefore it really is kind of unfair, for lack of a better term.
Overall, the main idea of Tan’s story is to stress that just because someone cannot speak English to perfection does not in any way make them less intelligent than someone who is born in this country and understands and speaks English fluently. Tan has judged and has been judged by her language, and has seen her mother disrespected because of how she speaks but these experiences have shaped her whole outlook on life. Through her essay, Tan wanted to send a powerful message of how we ought to view people by their beautiful side and not by their shortcomings. Everyone has a message to say, it may be different from yours and it might be grammatically incorrect but it does not make the message wrong, it just makes it
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