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Amy Tan Research Paper

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Amy Tan is a Chinese-American author who was born on February 19, 1952, in Oakland, California. In Tan’s early life she had many struggles because her parents desired for her “to hold onto Chinese traditions and her own longings to become more Americanized” (Encyclopedia). While she wanted to become a writer when she was still young, her parents wanted her to become a neurosurgeon. When she got older and went to college she majored in English then started her career in the 1970’s. She was a technical writer and then started writing fiction stories. “She first began writing fiction as a form of therapy” (Encyclopedia). Tan’s works portray the relationship between a mother and daughter because she writes about the relationship between her and…show more content…
Tan talks about the different types of English she used and learned while she was growing up. Tan’s English wasn’t all so great when she was in grade school but in college she switched to an English major from pre-med. English was Tan’s second language so she wasn’t so encouraged to become a writer. Others could not understand her mother’s “broken English”, but Tan could because she grew up listening to it, which is why she named this story “Mother tongue”. When she was around others she would talk differently than how she talks with her mother. “…all the forms of Standard English that I had learned in school and through book, the forms of English I did not use at home with my mother” (118). Throughout her story she refers to the English her mother speaks as “Broken English” because her mother would say sentences like “Why he don’t send me check, already two weeks ago, but it hasn’t arrived” (119). Her mother didn’t have much difficulty understanding or reading English. When Tan was younger, she would feel embarrassed when her mother would speak because many people couldn’t understand her well. Tan was in shame and pain when she would feel that people were giving her mother a negative reaction. As Tan grew older she realized that it wasn’t a big deal that her mother’s English was not that well. She got used to it because she had been talking to her for years using “Broken English” and when her mother was around…show more content…
Jing did not feel as if she was Chinese, since she lived in California; she felt more American. Once the train entered China she felt as if she was becoming Chinese. “The minute our train leaves the Hong Kong border… And I think, my mother was right, I am becoming Chinese” (241). Jing is excited to visit her relatives there but she is also nervous because she is going to meet her twin half-sisters, whom she has never met before and she will have to tell them about their mother’s death. Her mother had to abandon the half -sisters and her dream was to have a family reunion but before that could have happened she had passed away. Jing understood the language they were speaking but couldn’t speak it
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