Lan Cao's Excerpt From Monkey Bridge

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Lan Cao’s purpose in this excerpt from Monkey Bridge is to explain her own experience learning english as a second language. She strives to show both her interest in learning the language and also the benefits she received from knowing english when she first moved to America. In the beginning of the excerpt she talks about how her Aunt spoke English. She describes her aunt speaking english beautifully and teaching her how to say th. Based on her positive tone in the first paragraph when she is talking about learning english established by her use of positively connotated words such as “warm” and “gift”, it is clear she enjoyed learning english. By showing this the author clearly sets that not all foreigners moving to the United States have a hard time learning english and/or are bad at speaking it. This point if further enforced by her use of a personal anecdote in the first paragraph. The use of this makes the positive emotions she is portraying seem more real and personal. This makes her argument that she had a positive…show more content…
Particularly in the first paragraph, she uses metaphors and similes to portray her situation. For example she uses the metaphor “collecting words like a beggar gathering rain with an earthen pan” to describe how she followed her aunt around while she spoke english. This creates a powerful image of her desperate want to learn english as well as its necessity as it is compared to water. Another metaphor that appears in this piece is “[s]he opened her mouth, and out came a constellation of gorgeous sounds.” This metaphor implies that the english words that Cao’s aunt spoke were beautiful to Cao. Both of these uses of figurative language and the imagery that they consist of help to paint the picture of Cao’s love of english. The tone of this passage also contributes to that. By using words such as “poetry”, “perfection”, and “astonishing” the excerpt appears light hearted and
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