Synthesis Essay on Mother Tongue by Amy Tan and Censoring Myself by Betty Shamieh
1623 Words7 Pages
April, 2nd, 2012
Today we live in a society that is often called a "salad bowl". It is called a "salad bowl" because it consists of various different people from various different backgrounds. We all live together in a society, but we still retain our own distinct flavors which helps to contribute to the richness and diversity of society. Unfortunately, today we also live in a society in which some of these groups are marginalized and looked down upon by others. Hence, often times as individuals we feel the need to compromise the way in which we communicate our ideas so that we can appeal to the views of the majority. Two authors explore how their attempt to compromise almost caused them to become…show more content… Since her mother expressed her words in an imperfect manner, tan believed that her thoughts were also imperfect (Tan 274). Her perception was also supported by how people in society responded to her mother. Tan states that people in department stores, banks, and restaurants would not take her mother seriously. They would provide her bad service, pretend not to understand her, or act as if they were mute (Tan 274). This further contributed to Tan's feeling of embarrassment and shame towards her mother. Tan also describes an incident in which her mother went to the hospital and was told that the hospital had misplaced her CAT scan. The hospital did not show any remorse for losing the scan, nor did they assure her that they would locate it, that is until her mother had Tan speak to the hospital (Tan 275). As a reader this shows us how language is perceived and the role that it plays in the lives of individuals. For Tan it was imperative that she was able to blend in and be like others, so that she wouldn't be ridiculed. Luckily, she was able to realize the positive influence that her mother's diction bought her.
Furthermore, Tan's mother teaches her to think in a different manner than the other children in her school. Tan states that her developing language skills were influenced by her family and in this case her mother, hence it affected her