[Threepenny Review 1990; 1989.] Mother Tongue In Amy Tan's short story "Mother Tongue," explain the essence of what "mother tongue" signifies in the story. Therefore, I conclude that society plays a major role in how we create our identities based on language. Amy Tan opens her essay by stating "I am not a scholar of English or Literature" (par. Find Mother Tongue discography, albums and singles on AllMusic Everyone can relate to this because people in her audience has learned both subjects and usually they prefer one over the other or have strengths in one of those subject areas. Tannen, Deborah. It is generally accepted that in teaching and learning processes, the child’s mother tongue is of utmost importance. Tan elaborates this idea by scrutinizing her mother's language, her own use of English and society's response to … her stories illustrate her experiences as well as the journey of her mother. Tan not only uses personal experiences in her essay, but she also broadens it in order to relate the essay to people who do not exactly relate to her. Lamb, Robert P. The Hemingway Short Story: A Study in Craft for Writers and Readers. In this passage, Tan is arguing that different forms of the English language can be used for the same purpose, which is to communicate with others in a community. Philadelphia: Chelsea House,…. 2. “Aria: Memoir of a Bilingual Childhood”: Questions... Amy Tan opens her essay by writing "I am no a scholar o English or literature" (396) and then contrasts this statement in the next paragraph by stating "I am a writer" (396) in order to establish the background that she has with the English language. “Mother Tongue” explores Amy Tan’s relationship with the English language, her mother, and writing. Mother Tongue, by Amy Tan AUDIO VERSION OF THIS STORY. How do people react to Mrs. Tan's English ? Amy Tan is an Asian-American writer whose works focus a lot on relationships between mothers and daughters. Tan makes her arguments in a way that is easily understood. Amy Tan’s short story, “Mother Tongue” is an admirable tale that discusses the implied meaning of languages and how language is not only a device of communication, but a social tool of measuring an individuals’ worth. Strategies Syntax Tone Tan uses syntax to differentiate her and her mother's different type of English She switches from her speaking to different occasions she remembers when her mother was speaking "We were talking about the price of new and used furniture and I heard myself Ed. I am a writer. A Chinese woman who has a hard time joining one and two of the English language. Thus, Tan's belief is that all forms of English, including her mother's "broken English," is powerful and a part of her personal identity. Click here to find your hidden name meaning, "Mother Tongue" Questions on Rhetoric and Style. In others, he refers to the reader as "you" as though assuming that the reader is also a native speaker of English and is able to commiserate with the author on certain points in the narrative. Language reveals, whether it is negative or positive, aspects of a person's life, and this can help a person connect with or detach from the community and society. in her story, “Mother Tongue”. She goes into further detail to try to connect more with her audience instead of her argument always connecting to a personal anecdote. Bloom, Harold. I am fascinated by language in daily life. I chose this essay because Amy Tan has a unique writing style which has tone that is clear and identifiable. Unlike most of the other literature you’ve read for class, “Mother Tongue” by Amy Tan is short and pretty easy to breeze through. Mother tongue, written by Amy Tan provides a description of the forms of English languages adapted by different individuals during their migration to the United States of America and their adjustment to the American culture. Tan mentions how her experience are different form her mother's because she is able to speak the public language well, while her mother has a harder time communicating with others. More specifically, Tan argues that the way people speak a language can either connect or dissociate them from society. Amy Tan. I cannot give you much more than personal opinions on the English language and its variations in this country or others. The shift of perspective gives the book a very personal and informal tone while still allowing it to cover general ideas in a semi-scholarly way. In her opening two paragraphs, Tan is appealing to ethos by describing how she is qualified to give an argument on language because it is not what the audience would assume based on the title of the piece. 76-81. She broadens this essay when she goes into detail about why she struggles with reading and writing versus math during testing. Tan makes her arguments in a way that is easily understood. At still other points, the author uses the third person, usually to describe historical events in an objective way. Amy Tan's writing style is characterized by her depiction of Chinese American mother and daughter relationships. this is Amazing! Each of us has a "mother tongue" we use when we are comfortable, secure, and safe, and Tan's essay indicates this is natural, right, and makes us more aware of our culture, upbringing, and place in the world. 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. For example, in James Baldwin's "If Black English Isn't a Language, Then Tell Me, What Is?" “Context” refers to the larger frame of reference into which a text fits. "Mother Tongue" Questions on Rhetoric and Style 1. Critical Analysis Essay I have chosen “Mother Tongue” for the subject of my essay. Essentially, Amy ending up changing her style of writing because of her mother, who changed Amoy’s perception of language. The reader is sometimes engaged as part of the book and at other times is a more passive observer of the history that Bryson describes. The Mother Tongue is the story of the evolution of the English language, from its humble beginnings as a Germanic tongue to what it has evolved into over the centuries. ‘Mother Tongue’ is your native language. Tan, Amy. This strengthens her argument because her argument is about the different types of languages that she uses in her life, not about the formal English that everyone learns in school. Amy Tan's "Mother Tongue" supports James Baldwin's argument that language ". References. It is based on these reasons that some important aspects of language will be analyzed in this paper. In the beginning of her life, Amy was always ashamed and embarrassed because of her mother; her mother, in speaking broken English, would often sound weird and not be … These personal experiences give Tan credibility to create an argument on the English language. Mother Tongue: The Struggles of Communication Communication is arguably the most essential and powerful part of everyday 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. The piece has a strong depiction of the Asian American struggles through the adaptation of the English language. This scenario pertains to Baldwin's argument because Tan's mother's identity was preventing her from fully becoming a part of society, and this identity was shown through her language. In “Mother Tongue”, Tan discusses the many ways in which the language that she was taught affected her life. Tan believes that everyone’s mother tongue is important and essential in life because it makes each individual special and unique. 2), in order to allow the audience to see how she will talk of her experiences with language and … Background & Summary of Mother Tongue. Mother Tongue By Amy Tan Silvia Hoxha & Mikayla Cox Class Discussion Textbook Q's 1-5 Literary Elements 1. And by that definition, I am someone who has always loved language. Essentially, Amy ending up changing her style of writing because of her mother, who changed Amy's perception of language. Ed. Bill Bryson Writing Styles in The Mother Tongue Bill Bryson This Study Guide consists of approximately 29 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Mother Tongue. She claims that "the power of language... can evoke an emotion, a visual image, a complex idea, or a simple truth" (396). The book is written from a variety of perspectives. In her story "Mother Tongue," Amy Tan describes her relationship with her mother, who speaks "broken" English. What are words Tan uses to describe her mother's English? While her tone is sometimes humorous and captivating, it still clarifies some serious issues. From enhancing simple things like general communication to creating a viable environment for social, economic, political and economic growth, language and literature have become very crucial tools in the growth of human life through constant progress. The general argument made by Tan in "Mother Tongue" is that the different types of language that she speaks helps contribute to her identity. Title: Mother Tongue, by Amy Tan - mother tounge Author: Heather Simon Created Date: 8/1/2013 6:09:07 PM Analysis of “Mother Tongue” by Amy Tan. Gilbert H. Muller. Mother tongue is the first language that a person learned. In particular, she explores how … he mentions that language ", is the most vivid and crucial key to identify: It reveals the private identity, and connects one with, or divorces one from, the larger, public, or communal identity" (Baldwin), one may speak the same language, but in such a way that one's antecedents are revealed, or (one hopes) hidden" (Baldwin). This Study Guide consists of approximately 29 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - Tan describes how a hospital claimed to have lost her mother's CAT scan, but "when the doctor finally called her daughter, me, who spoke in perfect English- lo and behold- we had assurances the CAT scan would be found" (399). "Mother Tongue." This information is rather useful smile emoticon Thanks smile emoticon By the way, DigitalEssay.net provides efficient writing services smile emoticon, Wow! everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Mother Tongue. In "Mother Tongue", the author has used certain rhetorical questions regarding the difference in performance of students, and provides the answers by exhibiting in her writing that "there are other Asian-American students whose English spoken in the home might also be described as 'broken' or … If Tan chose to omit one of these anecdotes, her argument would lose some of its credibility because the anecdotes contribute to her ethos. "Mother Tongue" by Amy Tan tell us how the writer can developed her English well even though she lives in the middle of family who speak "broken" English. She talks about this in order to establish her own struggles with the English testing when she says "the answers on English tests were always a judgment call" (400). Print. In my view, Tan is right, because language shapes the way people are able to function in society and the way they seem themselves in a community. All of it starts from her desired and her motivation to learn, make all of things around her become something that can be learned and take a positive side of it. reveals the private identity, and connects one with, or divorces one from, the larger, public, or communal identity" (Baldwin). I chose this essay because Amy Tan has a unique writing style which has tone that is clear and identifiable. each story is an aspect that we have never heard before. Writing Style. Recurring Themes ... her novels all represent Tan's life and childhood. Too bad even Bill Bryson couldn't make this terribly entertaining. Tan’s purpose was to show us how language separates, unites, or isolates those who don’t speak the common way as well as others. I am not a scholar of English or literature. This nonfiction narrative essay was originally given as a talk during the 1989 State of the Language Symposium; it was later published by The Threepenny Review in 1990. In essence, this paper seeks to analyze the essay Mother Tongueby Amy Tan, in … Each novel is a small piece to a puzzle that is Tan's life. 11th ed. The general argument made by Tan in "Mother Tongue" is that the different types of language that she speaks helps contribute to her identity. Tan uses pathos to portray to her audience how through her experiences with her mother and the Chinese language she came to realize who she wanted to be and how she wanted to write. In some cases, the author uses the first person to describe his own experiences. More specifically, I believe that the way a person is seen in society is based on the language, and the type of language, that the person speaks. Over time, language has played a fundamental role in various societies across the globe. It is the first language you heard or spoke when you were a child. She has a hard time describing her mother's language in the essay, so she includes a short quote from her mother in order to help the audience understand the "broken" English that she uses and listens to in her everyday life. Amy Tan describes her relationship with her mother, who speaks “broken” English. Tan’s mother tongue is her mother’s language (a mix of Chinese and English), and she is PROUD of it! What is the context of “Mother Tongue”? So, Bill Bryson + cheap equals insta-buy for me, apparently. She claims that the difference between these two are that a scholar studies the English language and a writer is someone who "has always loved language" (396) and studies how it is used in her daily life. They further her argument by giving examples of the way that the different types of English have both improved and hindered her and her mother in the United States. More specifically, Tan argues that the way people speak a language can either connect or dissociate them from society. Louisiana State UP, 2013. The ‘’Mother Tongue’ reflects on how many people are misinformed thinking that English can be a measure of intelligence; focusing on tans claim, she openly lets the reader gauge her mother lack of good education. Tan's includes a direct quote from her mother in paragraph 6 of her argument instead of rephrasing what she said because this direct quotes contains the "broken" and "fractured" (398) aspect of her mother's that Tan wants the audience to understand. In Tan's essay, she gives an example of how her mother's "broken English" (398) "divorces" (Baldwin) her from the community because others have a difficult time making sense of her twist on the language. While her tone is sometimes humorous and captivating, it still clarifies some serious issues. 3. Boston: McGraw-Hill , 2011. What is the author's purpose, style, and tone in the story? Societies' ability to run smoothly, efficiently and benefit as many people as possible, hinges greatly on communication and how effectively it is used. "If Black English Isn't a Language, Then Tell Me, What Is?". Critical Analysis Essay I have chosen “Mother Tongue” for the subject of my essay. "Sex, Lies and Conversation: Why Is It So Hard for Men and … 1), but then goes on to state "I am not a writer" (par. What do language tests not have the ability to measure, according Tenley Williams. Click here to find your hidden name meaning, Baldwin, James. The McGraw-Hill Reader: Issues across the Disciplines. , I maintain that society judges and stereotypes people based on how a person speaks a language. Do you know your hidden name meaning ? Amy Tan uses anecdotes throughout her argument in order to establish the ways that the different forms of English has impacted her life. Of my essay into detail about why she struggles with reading and writing versus math during.! 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