Amy Tan s Mother Tongue Summary amp Themes study com

Amy Tan begins by announcing, “I am not a scholar of English…I cannot give you much more than personal opinions on the English language and its variations in this country and others. ” How does this opening set up your expectations for the rest of the essay? Why do you think she chose to begin by denying her own authority? Tan writes about the different “Englishes” she speaks. What categories does she divide English into? Why are these divisions important to Tan? How does she say they affect her as a writer? At the beginning of the essay, Tan herself questions how to put a label on the complex “Englishes” that she has grown up with.

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Mother Tongue by Amy Tan Home Is Where The Heart Dwells

To Tan, these “Englishes” do not just represent a way of speaking they are multi-dimensional and a big part of her journey to find out who she truly is. Through self-reflection, at the end of her essay, she is able to come up with four categories of the English she uses: the kind of English she speaks to her mother (considered a “simple English”), the English her mother uses with her (considered a “broken English”), her translation of her mother’s Chinese (considered a “watered down” version), and the kind of English Tan aspires to capture (her mother’s internal language- the translation of Chinese if her mother could speak English perfectly. )These divisions matter to Tan because each of these “Englishes” uniquely contribute in forming who Tan is. As a writer, this exposure to all of these “Englishes” has affected her greatly. She no longer focuses on writing to the readers who can understand English perfectly. Tan’s understanding of the multifaceted “Englishes” present in our nation allow her to get her message across to a larger audience. How does writing for a literary audience affect the language Tan primarily uses in the essay? What kind of English do you think she believes her audience speaks? Why? Support your answer with quotations from the text. Tan is aware that the literary audience will have a higher expectation of her writing. Therefore, she does not write in the manner in which her mother would speak (“broken English”). However, throughout her essay, any reader, whether an English scholar or student would easily be able to understand what Tan is trying to convey through her writing. In her essay Tan states: “Fortunately, for reasons I won’t get into today, I later decided I should envision a reader for the stories I would write. Jeffrey Michel Prof. Natalia Sucre ENG 6656 Tues, September 65, 7567 Essays #6: Rough Draft Language Power in “Mother Tongue” A higher level of sophistication and articulation in one’s speech portrays one as a very well educated person. Such a person’s language makes them an admirable individual that can lead people and hold power with ease. In the article “Mother Tongue”, Amy Tan emphasizes the idea that we all speak different languages unconsciously and that we are categorized by the way we speak. Language is power people develop that power through their own sense of cultural and historical language and usage because language comes from culture. In “Mother Tongue, ” Amy Tan discusses the different experiences she had that made her realized the different types of English’s she uses. The first time she realized this was when she was giving a talk about her book, The Joy Luck Club. When realizing that she had been using proper English to speak to her audience, after seeing her mother in the crowd. A language she had never used with her mother but her mother understood it. Tan felt embarrassed because the only way her mother would communicate with her was through “broken” English and contradicts how much she actually understands. This reminds us that even though her mother’s English seemed “broken” Amy Tan still understand her mother tongue. In situations of being her mother translator made her realize the different types of English’s she uses. When Tan was young she used to speak to her mother’s stockbroker on the phone and act as if she was her mother in order to get people’s attention. She had the idea that her mother’s English was limited and so her opportunities throughout her life would be limited too. In her experience, she notices that Asian students actually do better in math tests than in language tests, and she questions whether or not other Asian students are discouraged from writing or directed in the direction of math and science. Tan changed her major from pre-med to English and she decided to become a freelance writer even though her boss told her she could not write. She did not follow expectations that people had of her because of her struggle with writing and language. With her mother as an influence Tan decided to write her stories for people like her, people with “broken” or “limited” English and gave her fuel to write. Language is powerful, having the right correct words in your speech sends out a powerful statement. If you were trying to make a statement but it lacked structure that would affect the importance of what you are trying to convey. Tans starts to figure out what is correct language but who’s to say what correct language is. For language to be correct it has to adapt to their situations of use, by doing this it starts to gain meaning.

We communicate with people every day, but sometimes we do not adjust our communication style to the audience or situation at hand which can lead to confusion. Unlike most of the other literature you’ve read for class, “Mother Tongue” by Amy Tan is short and pretty easy to breeze through. But now you have to do a literary analysis on it–and suddenly its short length seems like more of a burden than a blessing. Fortunately, there are several different literary devices you can concentrate on for your literary analysis. ”is when an author uses an object, person, or place to represent a deeper concept. Even though language is not an object you can hold, Amy Tan still uses language to symbolize different, more ambiguous concepts. Tan talks about a few different types of English and in what situations she uses them, but each English form symbolizes something different to her. What we would call “proper English” symbolizes both Tan’s acceptance into American society and a separation from her mother. Tan highlights this dichotomy when she writes about giving her speech, saying the “proper English” words that she was using felt strange to say when her mother was in the room. Susan has directed the writing program in undergraduate colleges, taught in the writing and English departments, and criminal justice departments. This is because she grew up in a home with her Chinese mother who spoke English that was, at best, difficult for many people to understand. Tan came to realize this because when Tan was with her mother, she spoke English differently, more simply, like her mother. In the essay, Mother Tongue, we see an article about Amy Tan contemplating how her background affected her life, her education, held her between two worlds, and brought her shame, but ultimately she learns to embrace her background. Amy Tan found her voice as a writer by spending time with her mother who spoke broken English. It is a bit surprising that Tan ended up as a writer considering the fact that she was expected to study the sciences. She tells us in her essay, Mother Tongue, 'I was told by my former boss that writing was my worst skill and I should hone my talents toward account management. ' However, Tan was stubborn and determined, so she didn't take his criticism to heart she made it work for her. She was giving a talk to a group of people about her book, Joy Luck Club, and she found herself using English that was sophisticated and complex. While she was talking, she was aware of the fact that her mother was sitting in the back it was the first time her mother had come to hear her speak. Tan was cognizant of the fact that she was using English she did not use around her mother. It hit her that the two worlds she had grown up in had impacted her writing as well as her life. The main idea of Amy Tan's Mother Tongue is the limitations that imperfect English can impose in society and the richness that such English can bring to writing. Tan elaborates this idea by scrutinizing her mother's language, her own use of English and society's response to different people's English usage. Get the grade or your money back Plagiarism-free Delivered on timeGet the grade or your money back Plagiarism-free Delivered on timeDisclaimer: This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of UK Essays. In this paper, we would be analyzing the rhetorical techniques used in Mother Tounge by Amy Tan. The paper will be discussing and analyzing the different aspects of rhetoric devices and techniques used in the story. This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue? Tan’s mom reads a lot of different material “all kinds of things I can’t begin to understand. ” Her mother may not be able to speak English very well, but she does understand the language and reads it daily. The diction Amy Tan presented expresses her personal opinions, while her tales demonstrate that at one point she was perplexed with her mother’s English. At one point she was embarrassed of her mother’s English, but as she grew older it was not that big of a deal and learned from this by writing although Tans mothers english might be limited, but in her opinion it does not strike her as being wrong as so many would think she clearly states this when she says Some say they understand none of it, as if she were speaking pure Chinese. But to me, my mothers English is perfectly clear, perfectly natural.

Mother Tongue by Amy Tan Summary Scribd

Moreover She uses personification again to emphasize the variation of English she speaks when she says the intersection of memory upon imagination. Towards the fifth paragraph Amy uses many 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 detached from their roots. In Mother Tongue, by Amy Tan, Tan talks about growing up as a young child in America and learning the English language. She speaks about growing up as a writer and her mother's imperfect diction which had a major influence on her. On the other hand, In her essay some ways, too, these monologues could each stand alone as a story in itself, in fact, Amy Tan has said that she never intended The Joy Luck Club to be a novel, (Souris 99). In The Joy Luck Club, there are seven true voices, with one of the daughters speaking for her dead mother. This is reminiscent of both Faulkner's previously mentioned have chosen “Mother Tongue” for the subject of my essay. I chose this essay because Amy Tan has a unique writing style which has tone that is clear and identifiable. Tan makes her arguments in a way that is easily understood. While her tone is sometimes humorous and captivating, it still clarifies some serious issues. These qualities among others leave Tan’s work to be desired by almost any reader because her tone and style are both genuine and upfront. This essay will talk about how Tan’s work in her In particular, she explores how generational differences present relational challenges. Born in America to Chinese parents, Tan's formative years were influenced by her parents' strong Chinese traditions and her own desire to embrace American culture. She eventually learned that her mother left China to escape an abusive husband before giving birth to Tan and that her mother had other children she was forced to leave behind in China. This knowledge influenced Tan's work when she began writing fiction as an adult. Although her parents wanted her to pursue a medical career, Tan chose to obtain a degree in English from San Jose State. She also received a master's degree in linguistics and later worked as a technical writer before job burn-out caused her to begin writing fiction as a form of therapy. Her first novel, The Joy Luck Club, became a literary success and was also adapted into a film. Like her subsequent works of fiction, the book explores the dynamics between Chinese immigrant mothers and their American daughters. Tan's writing is particularly praised by critics because of her ability to write convincing Chinese American dialogue. They are exchanging rolls with their parents. A lot of the time Amy had to handle situations, at a very young age, where she was the middle person between her mother and another person who did not understand anything her mother was saying. Reversing rolls with the parent can have a heavy impact on a child? S life. I don? T feel Amy needed to be introduced to something like that at such an impressionable age. As a parent, Amy? S mother should have taken a stand and practiced her English to better herself Tan employs cause and effect when she is talking about her experiences with IQ tests and the SATs. The fact that her mother spoke English the way she did made it very difficult for Tan to envision what the test was asking, as with the questions where she could not identify one singular correct answer. In her experience with language, maybe she had heard her mother would say something a certain way, even though, technically, it was not grammatically correct. Her perceptions of things, specifically My mother was in the room. And it was perhaps the first time she had heard me give a lengthy speech using the kind of English I have never used with her. She changed her language to assimilate into American culture while also keeping familial culture.

A piece of heritage that uses a language of intimacy, a different sort of English that relates to family talk. Tan grew up with this language and This education, seen from the other side of the cultural gap, is what makes Lena see her mother as a weak person. Lena has a job, an American husband, she lives an American life, unlike her mother, who is attached to weird old disused Chinese traditions. But she herself is not happy, as her mother can see. Her husband is not as good as he might be: he exploits her, paying her a too low wage, never recognizes her contribution to their success as architects. . On the other hand, Ying- Ying marriage Since her mother expressed her words in an imperfect manner, tan believed that her thoughts were also imperfect (Tan 779). 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 779). This further contributed to Tan's feeling of embarrassment and shame towards her Based on Amy Tan’s “Mother Tongue” it is evident that language has an affect on our lives. Language defines the type of person I am generally and it has had an affect on my choices as well as my lifestyle. Depending on my friends, family, and others I talk to my choice on language tends to vary. My decisions in life, sometimes, are influenced by the language I use and my surroundings. Language has become my way of seeing life in a different perspective. In Amy Tan’s “Mother Tongue” she discusses the way the language that she was taught affected her life in so many ways. I can agree and relate to Tan’s article since I as well came from a bilingual home. I respected my parents so I always honored the language they spoke, most of the time I believe I spoke their language out of habit, it was our language as a family. In Tan’s article she quotes “So easy to read” (Tan 896) when she spoke about her mother’s verdict on her book. I had a similar story occur in my family since my mother had a tough time reading and understand english while I was growing up. I honored the way she defended herself even with her “broken” english and taught me that language is just a way of seeing the world depending on your language you can determine the way you want to go. I grew up in a bilingual family in which my mother spoke only spanish and my father spoke both english and spanish. At home I used to only talk spanish to make my mother feel comfortable in our conversations. Many of my decisions growing up were influenced by my spanish backgrounds to some its just a language but when you speak a different language you see the world differently. Amy Tan states “It has become our language of intimacy” (Tan 885), in which I can relate to. Speaking spanish at home became our language, the language we could all connect to and understand each other, it was our language. My mother specifically taught me to be intrepid in my choice of language. Due to that, some of my decisions around my friends such as the food, books, movies I chose to buy were affected by the language we spoke around each other. I didn’t quite notice the change of language I had around my family then around my friends until I used to mistaken speak spanish around my friends and “slang” around my parents and either one would correct me. Due to the way I was used to talking to my friends affected making new friends and the type of friends I looked forward to making. Job opportunities growing up were sort of limited due to the fact I was never taught how to properly talk to professionals. In some job interviews, depending on who was interviewing me, I would either talk in some sort of “slang” or spanglish. It obviously didn’t help me much and I never had a stable job.

Once I got older and was associating myself with other people who spoke what is called “proper english” I actually matured and saw that there were so many opportunities for those who spoke the language everyone found “acceptable” or “correct”.

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