In “Mother Tongue” the author Amy Tan wrote about her experiences with the English language and how it, depending on how it’s used, can signify one’s “worth” in the eyes of others. Throughout the essay, Tan highlights her mother’s use of language, how people and she herself, as the daughter, perceived her mother to be based on her “limited” English.
On the other hand the main focus on Tan’s story is to show the beautiful and passionate side of her mother that people can't see. Tan describes how all of the English’s that she grew up with, normal English and "mother tongue" English, has shaped her first outlook of life. She writes, "But to me, my mother's
In the work of Amy Tan’s “Mother’s Tongue” she provides a look into how she adapted her language to assimilate into American culture. She made changes to her language because her mother heavily relied on her for translation. She was the voice of her mother, relaying information in standard English to
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
4. Considerer the expression Mother Tongue in Tan’s title. This expression usually refers to the first language learned at home in childhood. In this case, I think it has a literally meaning, it refers to her mother tongue in specific.
The purpose of Amy Tan’s essay, “Mother Tongue,” is to show how challenging it can be if an individual is raised by a parent who speaks “limited English” (36) as Tan’s mother does, partially because it can result in people being judged poorly by others. As Tan’s primary care giver, her mother was a significant part of her childhood, and she has a strong influence over Tan’s writing style. Being raised by her mother taught her that one’s perception of the world is heavily based upon the language spoken at home. Alternately, people’s perceptions of one another are based largely on the language used.
In “Mother Tongue,” Amy Tan an American writer, shares her experience growing up with the family where no one speaks perfect English, and how it affected her education and her life. As the second generation of Chinese immigrants, Tan faces more problems than her peers do. Her mother, who speaks limited English needs Tan to be her “Translator” to communicate with the native English speakers. Tan states, “I was ashamed of her English” (2). Her mother is like a burden to her, at least in Tan’s early years. But the cultural conflict she becomes the theme of her writing and it is under this situation she wrote many novels and essays including “Mother Tongue.”
In Mother Tongue, Amy Tan talks about how language influenced her life while growing up. Through pathos she explains to her audience how her experiences with her mother and the Chinese language she came to realize who she wanted to be and how she wanted to write.
Tan’s attitude towards her mother throughout the essay can be described as understanding yet embarrassed. Tan is understanding of her mother throughout the essay because she constantly says that her English differs when talking to her mom versus when talking to others. She does this because she knows her mom is not as well-spoken as others, but Tan still wants her mom to be comfortable speaking English with everyone. Tan even changes many things in later writings because she envisions her mother reading it, and wants to know that her mother will understand everything she puts into the writing even though she speaks “broken English.” Tan was also embarrassed of her mother in the essay because she speaks of times when Tan blamed her own mother
Tan goes on to explain what sociological impacts she experienced based on her upbringing. She concludes that her mother should not be judged based on her “watered down” English, and that people should be more accepting to those who cannot express their feelings in English.
In Amy Tan’s famous speech “Mother Tongue”, mainly describes the struggle about her and her mother as a foreign immigrant in America. She points out the differences and conflicts between these two different cultures throughout the speech. Tan virtually informs the reader that life in America can be tough if you can’t speak the good English. However, the story mainly focuses on the prejudices of Amy Tan and her mother. Her mother has been discriminated throughout her whole life because of the fact that she speaks the “broken”, “limited” or also known as the “fractured” English. Tan describes her struggle of growing up with her mother’s “limited English”, but eventually embrace the beauty of it. The author’s main purpose is to show the audience that the “standard English” is not the only proper way to communicate with each other, that “broken English” can also be an important tool to express our thoughts and emotions.
In the essay, “Mother Tongue”, Amy Tan lays out examples of noticing the different Englishes in her life and how she incorporates them into her writing. She also breaks down the different versions of English that have taken root in her life. Tan notes that she includes all the Englishes of her life in her book, The Joy Luck Club. Tan, the daughter of immigrants, learned to navigate between the “perfect” English of her professional life and the “broken” English of her youth. The author’s main claim of there being no perfect way of speaking English is one that can be easily recognized because Tan gives clear examples of the diverse versions of English in her life, she pinpoints moments in which she sees the differences and discovers how to accept and acclimate these differences to her life and career.
Despite growing up amidst a language deemed as “broken” and “fractured”, Amy Tan’s love for language allowed her to embrace the variations of English that surrounded her. In her short essay “Mother Tongue”, Tan discusses the internal conflict she had with the English learned from her mother to that of the English in her education. Sharing her experiences as an adolescent posing to be her mother for respect, Tan develops a frustration at the difficulty of not being taken seriously due to one’s inability to speak the way society expects. Disallowing others to prove their misconceptions of her, Tan exerted herself in excelling at English throughout school. She felt a need to rebel against the proverbial view that writing is not a strong
This dialect, Tan says, became their "language of intimacy, a different sort of English that relates to family talk, the language [she] grew up with" (Tan 589). This type of language creates an identity for Tan, one which she was ashamed of growing up. This feeling of shame later backfired as an adult in her fiction writing. She wrote to prove she had "mastery over the English language" with large words, unheard of to the common ear, and sentences she thought were "wittily crafted." But as Tan matured, she realized she should envision an audience for her stories; this audience was her mother. She began to write stories using "all the Englishes" she grew up with. As she found out, this change of her own conception of language enriched her writing and added to her ethos. After all, her mother’s language, as she heard it, was "vivid, direct, full of observation and imagery." "That was the language that had helped shaper the way [she] saw things, expressed things, made sense of the world" (Tan 590). Her "mother tongue" is her identity as a writer, and she learned that someone’s English does not reflect the quality of what he/she has to say.
There are many bilingual and multicultural people in the world today. For many, the choices of which language they use, and how they use it, correspond to what social or cultural community they belong to. Amy Tan, a Chinese American novelist, portrays this well in her short essay "Mother Tongue." Tan grew up in two vastly different worlds, using different "Englishes." The first world, which consists of her close family, she speaks what we may call "broken" or "limited" English. The second world, which is her business and professional world, Tan speaks and writes perfect standard and academic English. Having to "shuttle" between these two communities with very different languages has had many different positive and negative effects on