The Power Of Language In Amyy Tan's Mother Tongue By Amy Tan

943 Words4 Pages
In her writing, Tan often describes her experiences as the child of Chinese immigrants, growing up in northern California and living in American culture. Tan explains how she has learned to embrace the many Englishes her mother speaks and how her background has also caused her to have different Englishes. While others classify her mother's English as "broken" she finds no fault in it. In Tan's view, just because something is broken does not necessarily mean that it is in need of fixing. In her essay, author Amy Tan addresses the connections between languages and cultures in describing the different Englishes her mother uses. Tan is able to convey the power of language in her writing through the significance of the title "Mother Tongue", by narrating from three different perspectives and through her diction. The title "Mother Tongue" exemplifies the connection between culture and language as one's native language can also be known as their mother tongue. This language is the first language a child hears and learns to speak. Tan's mother tongue is a combination of Chinese and English, which was taught to her by her mother. In Tan's opinion, one's mother tongue plays a significant role in defining them and makes them unique. The title "Mother Tongue" is also significant because it was the language Tan's mother spoke which played a major role in…show more content…
By using easily understood English and short sentences, Tan is humbling herself before her audience and makes the text immediately intimate. It is a text that her mother could comprehend and read with ease. To allow the readers to connect to her story even further, Tan quotes her mother in her broken English. This shows the reader how difficult it can be to understand Tan's mother's English and how different it is from the English Tan has learned through formal
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