Summary of "Mother Tongue" by Amy Tan In "Mother Tongue, Amy Tan writes about how her mother 's broken English affects her life. She begins this narrative essay by talking about the day she became aware of the different forms of English that she was using at home and during formal events. Amy says, "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. 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" (Tan 1).
The personal narrative of this story is told through the major character, Maxine Hong Kingston. She is reflecting back on her childhood which establishes some credibility. Throughout the passage, readers see that Kingston repeatedly blames her mother for her speaking difficulties when all her mother wanted was for Kingston to be able to speak multiple languages freely without being “tongue tied.” The accusations that Kingston repeatedly places on her mother are ironic because while Kingston is writing about how she is unable to communicate, readers see that she is very capable of expressing herself through her
After reading Mother Tongue by Amy Tan, my perspective changed about the struggles for people who are not as good at English. All throughout this article Tan uses personal experience from her mom to show the readers the struggle while also using primary sources to back up her claim. All the evidence backs up her initial claim and as the reader your perspective changes after reading about how she personally was effected. The author 's main claim of Mother Tongue is to persuade people so respect people who struggle with English because she has serval personal connections, she has fact based proof, and she is an experienced writer on this topic and in general. All throughout the reading she uses many personal stories and personal experiences on how difficult it was for her mother to go through her everyday life.
The style of argumentation is very closed and both mother and daughter are not very open to other suggestions and kind of stubborn. Later in the text, Rachel tells the reader about other mothers and their bad relationship between mother and daughter. In the start, the reader really gets the imagine that she really struggles because of the teenagers, also because of her title choice "a modern tragedy", which indicates the problem among two sides and that the author wants to
“But now her looks were gone and that was why she was always after Connie.” (Oates 614). Also, there is another opportunity for friendship within the family, between Connie and her sister, however, that is lost in their rivalry and hostility. “Her sister was so plain and chunky and steady that Connie had to hear her praised all the time – by her mother and her mother's sisters.” (Oates 614 ). Another reason why Connie why wants to be independent from her mother is because she does not want to be like her. “Her mother went scuffling around the house in old bathroom slippers…”( Oates 616).
The article 'Mother Tongue ' by author Amy Tan is about the variations in the English language the author uses in her life. She describes her English when giving a speech to a other people, English she uses when speaking to her mother, and English she uses in her writing. She tells of difficulties faced by both her mother and herself from these many differences. Amy 's goal in this article is to show that a person does not have to speak proper English to be seen as smart or intelligent. Amy explains the many variations of English that she had been exposed to and still uses.
At first glimpse, it’s obvious her mother lacks parenting skills, and cares little for her daughters. Yet, there is a more prominent issue than just simply lacking parenting skills, the few pages she mentions her mother set not only a tone but is one of the main themes that occurred throughout the book. The theme or the saying “the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree”. Furthermore, Sena confronted her mother about picking a man over her children, in which her mother rebuttals and states this may be her last chance at happiness. Throughout the book it is implied that she had many sexual encounters with men, and one more dominate through the book with Armando, a Colombian drug dealer.
The examples seem that parents don’t treat children as kids. It’s sad that even at a reasonable age parents don’t follow this rule. For example in lines 49-50 a women Janeane Davis says she still checks on her daughters texts and emails even though she is in college. That’s not healthy for real. A good example for doing the right thing is in line 75 -79 when a woman explains her husband made her daughter write an essay, it shows the parents let her choose the result and treated her as a child or young adult.
Tan ends this essay by using the appeal of pathos. When Tan was a kid, she “was ashamed of her English” (310 Tan). However, as she grows up, her mother’s english inspires her writing and leads her to find the goal of writing. As Tan discusses in her essay, “I wanted to capture what language ability tests can never reveal: her intent, her passion, her imagery, the rhythms of her speech and the nature of her thoughts” (314 Tan). To be specific, this is saying that the meaning of writing is exploring people’s internal thoughts.
Throughout the article, Tan uses a number of personal examples to show and support her point. These examples span from phone conversations and hospital visits to standardized tests. By using examples that cover a wide variety of topics, Tan is able to demonstrate the large effect that her mother’s style of english had and how it was woven into her whole life and not just a part of it. Particularly in the hospital example, Tan also brings in the stereotyping of people who speak “broken” english as not being very smart. In bringing this issue that is at the very root of our society, she darkens the tone to melancholy.