Mother Tongue by Amy Tan

1003 Words 5 Pages
English is an invisible gate. Immigrants are the outsiders. And native speakers are the gatekeepers. Whether the gate is wide open to welcome the broken English speakers depends on their perceptions. Sadly, most of the times, the gate is shut tight, like the case of Tan’s mother as she discusses in her essay, "the mother tongue." People treat her mother with attitudes because of her improper English before they get to know her. Tan sympathizes for her mother as well as other immigrants. Tan, once embarrassed by her mother, now begins her writing journal through a brand-new kaleidoscope. She sees the beauty behind the "broken" English, even though it is different. Tan combines repetition, cause and effect, and exemplification to emphasize …show more content…
In addition, Tan also describes “limited” as “lacked of certain wholeness and soundness" she is actually stressing on the issue of people ignoring non-native speakers’ voices, pretending they are mute and deaf. Tan manipulates such a common, but influential word-limited- to imply her disappointment how people’s perceptions are just as limited as broken English. Tan then converts her feeling to action; she attempts to raise the awareness in society, not to look over somebody just because he or she cannot speak English. In doing so, readers slowly reflect their own behaviors toward immigrants; they should not apply any unfair assumptions on broken English speakers because they are no better than anyone but a judgmental freak.
In order to tighten her persuasion, Tan shows the consequence of people judging her mother’s English through the rhetorical device-cause and effect. In her early years of writing, Tan uses great English and plethora of vocabularies to prove that she possesses the ability of a scholar writer. “And at first I wrote using what I thought to be wittily crafted sentences, sentences that would finally prove I had mastery over the English language” (637). Tan said she was trying to disprove people’s assumption about her writing talent. However, Tan, herself, was