Amy Tan Mother Tongue Thesis

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Writer and novelist Amy Tan in her essay “Mother Tongue”, narrates that speaking “broken” or “fractured” English is not a bad thing. Tan’s purpose is to show the readers her interpretation of different Englishes and what affect her mother had on her. Amy Tan builds a case in “Mother Tongue” that just because some people don’t speak English perfectly, doesn’t mean that they are stupid or ignorant. Tan uses metaphors such as “broken” (8) and “fractured” (8), these words are strong metaphors due to the fact that they give the reader an easy understanding of what Tan is trying to say. Tan uses these metaphors as a way of describing how her mother spoke, while trying not to offend her. “Ashamed of my mother”, she states, but as she matured, …show more content…

I had to get on the phone and say in an adolescent voice that was not very convincing, ‘This is Mrs. Tan’”(10). This shows how her mother affected her childhood in the way that she even had to talk for her so that other people would understand and take her seriously. The way Tan includes this quote shows that as a child she had to help her mom in many major ways. With this quote Tan affects the audience in the way that just because she was ashamed of her mother doesn’t mean that she didn’t care for her and that other people should do the same. “My mother had gone to the hospital for an appointment, to find out about a benign brain tumor a CAT scan had revealed a month ago. And when the doctor called her daughter, me, who spoke perfect English, low and behold we had assurances the CAT scan would be found”.(13). This shows that again Tan had to help her mother and that she had nothing to be ashamed of. Personally this affected her in the way that her mother could not speak English too well, but she could, so she was the talker in the family. This shows the readers that if someone is different, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t help them. The audience can take her memories, so that they can understand that some people are

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