Reflection on Readings Using Comparison and Contrast Maxine Hong Kingston (Tongue Tied); Richard Rodriguez (Aria); Gloria Anzaldua (How to Tame a Wild Tongue)

1358 Words Oct 20th, 2011 6 Pages
Thesis: All three authors portray the voice of many people, who, on a daily basis, are underprivileged of speaking their own language, thus, emphasizing onto the lives of linguistic minority students around the world and how they struggle to cope in school and at home.

Audience: Class HUM-111 and Dr. Connelly

Purpose: To highlight the difficulties students have at school and at home when it comes down to learning a language which they aren’t acquainted to and the consequences of such, depending on their social background.

Reflection on readings using Comparison and Contrast
Maxine Hong Kingston (Tongue Tied); Richard Rodriguez (Aria); Gloria Anzaldua (How to Tame a Wild Tongue)

In the short story’s ‘Tongue Tied’, ‘Aria’ and
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Up to “half a year passed…” (Rodriguez, 287) until his teachers “…began to connect [his] behaviour with the difficult progress of [his] older sister and brother were making” (287). Note the fact that the teacher’s realization was because of his siblings and not because of his solitude, silent attitude. The message, as Anzaldua perfectly evokes in his short story, is that it’s our very “tongue [which] diminishes our sense of self” (298). A similar image Anzaldua depicts in ‘How to Tame a Wild Tongue’ – coincidently at the rather beginning of the text just like Rodriguez – is when the Anglo teacher said “If you want to be American, speak ‘American’. If you don’t like it, go back to Mexico where you belong” (295). On this occasion, Anzaldua’s mother also tells him off as she was “…mortified that [her son] spoke English like a Mexican” (295). Here, the pressure derives from the mom and the teacher, making Anzaldua feel out of place. He believes that “wild tongues can’t be tamed, they can only be cut” (295) emphasizing that one’s identity must be forgotten if he/she wants to learn another language (English), ultimately gaining a new identity. Another example of lack of identity recognition is when Kingston, in ‘Tongue Tied’, specifies that only the Chinese girls were left out when the class went to the auditorium. Kingston “…knew the silence had to do with being a Chinese girl” (284), hence, her self-esteem diminishes, she feels excluded from the class;