Mother Tongue Analysis

1081 Words5 Pages
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. She points out even though her mother, Mrs. Tan, uses the "broken" version of English, Amy still understands her mother. I agree because Amy never stated she had any…show more content…
She stated that her mother "reads Forbes report, listens to Wall Street Week, converses daily with her stockbroker" (Tan, 2006, p. 21). This evidence supports the claim that lack of "perfect" English does not equal a lack of intellect. The key point shows that even though the author used "simple" English to speak to her mother, yet her mother was still able to read English. This proves that her mother was not incompetent at all with understanding the English language. Specific evidence that supports my claim that Amy 's mother did have a good understanding of English, was when she effortlessly reads "the Forbes report" or "Shirley MacLaine books with ease" (Tan, 2006, p. 21). Mrs. Tan might not have been able to communicate English in a well-spoken manner, but she was able to read it.
"Don 't judge a book by its cover...or someone 's intelligence by her English" (Tan, 2006, p. 20). Mrs. Tan had a rough time speaking English, yet an easy time reading English like Forbes magazine and Shirley MacLaine books. Forbes is almost as American as you can get in business profession. And the same with Shirley MacLaine in the entertainment business. Those two represent the Western-American language. This supports Amy 's goal of showing us that her mother was intelligent even with her speaking
…show more content…
Another point is Amy says that her mother is not hard to understand, it 's that other people find it hard to comprehend her talking. People who do not know her mother well probably won 't give themselves time to connect with her mother 's English. As described by Amy from her personal view that her mother 's English was "perfectly clear, perfectly natural" (Tan, 2006, p. 21). Specific evidence that supports was the author stating, "Her language, as I hear it, is vivid, direct, full of observation and imagery." (Tan, 2006, p. 20). This evidence supports my claim since she explained how Mrs. Tan 's version of English was what taught her to understand the language. Amy also said, "That was the language that helped shape the way I saw things, expressed things, made sense of the world" (Tan, 2006, p. 21). Without Amy learning the descriptive language that her mother used, Amy would be less expressive of herself and not as vocally involved in the
Open Document