Amy Tan Mother Tongue Essay

515 Words3 Pages
Human beings are similar to animals in their need to survive. Most would say we humans are superior because we can strategize and think past our instincts. I would like to argue that we have just learned to adapt at a faster pace because of the technologies we have created and have access to. As we grow, we learn there are different ways of expressing our opinions depending on whether we are at home, school, work, or even when we are with friends. When we were younger, we were taught what is acceptable and not acceptable in different situations. Our behavior is influenced by what society dictates is normal and appropriate. An example of this structured way of thinking is the behavior expected when we go to church. In church, people are expected to quietly listen and contemplate what the priest, minister, or leader is saying. There is no running, and there definitely is no making loud noises like yelling that disturbs a nearby neighbor. We have been taught those actions are inappropriate for that kind of setting. Just like it would be inappropriate to use slang or shortened versions of words we use when texting to…show more content…
We as readers get an inside view as to how difference scenarios require us to talk different ways. A particular point that stood out to me was even though she describes all the different situations that involve her mother’s inability to be understood, she recognizes that we talk differently based on who is around us at the time. Tan comes to the realization she uses different “Englishes” during the presentation of her essay: “the talk was going along well enough, until I remembered one major difference that made the whole talk sound wrong. My mother was in the room” (Tan 113). The addition of her mother being there initiates a recognition of the change between how she speaks around her mother and around her
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