In her short essay “Mother Tongue”, Tan discusses the internal conflict she had with the English learned from her mother to that of the English in her education.
Sadly, most of the times, the gate is shut tight, like the case of Tan’s mother as she discusses in her essay, "the mother tongue." People treat her mother with attitudes because of her improper English before they get to know her.
Bio of Author
Amy Tan - A writer and daughter of an immigrant, Tan talks about some of the struggles that not only her mother faced as an immigrant, but also how she was consequently affected by the English that she uses when speaking with her mother.
In this point of view, she also stresses the importance of keeping the essence of her “mother tongue.” It shows how she matured from being a child with the mind of a child, to an adult that can find the beauty and significance to not only the broken English that her mother speaks, but to all the different Englishes that she uses in her daily life and in her writing.
In 1953, Amy Tan was born in Oakland, California, the child of two Chinese immigrants.
What important lessons about life and the uses of language might each draw from this essay?
Words are more than just words, and sometimes you have to read in between them to understand the point that someone is trying to get across.
- Although Tan’s mother has a limited vocabulary, she is more than just her words and she has a greater knowledge than what she is able to express because of her “broken English.”
The most noticeable tone shift is when Tan begins to address the readers as “you.” At first, the tone is formal and informational, but it quickly switches to being more personal and didactic as Tan begins to teach the readers the moral lesson of her story, which is to respect and have patience with bilingual speakers, as there is more to them than what their vocabulary allows them to express.
Students then read and discuss Amy Tan's essay Mother Tongue. Finally, they write a literacy narrative describing two different languages they use and when and where they use these languages. : Have students discuss Amy Tan's essay in small groups, using these discussion questions.: This handout describes an assignment in which students write a literacy narrative exploring their use of different language in different settings. NCTE has long held a commitment to the importance of individual student's language choices.
Coming from a Chinese background, her immigrant parents knew basic, or “broken,” English, therefore, this was Tan’s “mother tongue.” However, she also used a grammatically correct and the proper form of English which reflected the education she had received growing up learning proper English.
Coming from a Chinese background, her immigrant parents knew basic, or “broken,” English, therefore, this was Tan’s “mother tongue.” However, she also uses a grammatically correct and proper form of English which reflects the education she had received.
"Even though Tom was shy, Mary thought he was charming." (Tan paragraph 16)
This is an example of Antithesis
"The nature of the talk was about my writing, my life, and my book "The Joy Luck Club"" (Tan paragraph 2)
This is an example of Position
Restate Thesis: In Amy Tan's essay Mother Tongue it is quite evident that one's communication skills are fundamental, otherwise one may be perceived in the wrong way.
Why is Tan's mother-daughter bond different/unconventional ?
The essay takes place through events that happened in America.
Tan is describing her “mother tongue” as “impeccably broken English.” Time and time again, she refers to it as broken English.
Helps to draw in readers who can relate and get them to keep reading the essay.
Purpose and Intended Audience
By: Amy Tan
Type of Essay: Personal essay.
Purpose of the essay: The purpose of the essay is to make the reader analyze not what someone is saying but the meaning of it.
Who is the intended audience: The intended audience is everyone.
An example of her pathos style is when she informs the reader about her mother’s tumor: ”…the hospital did not apologize when they said they had lost the CT scan……they did not seem to have any sympathy when she told them she was anxious to know the exact diagnosis…”
Amy Tan significantly balances each part of the rhetorical triangle as each element of the rhetorical triangle ultimately led to creating a very effective and thought provoking essay
Methods of Proof
1: The writer tells past stories of her experience with broken English and her mother.
Tan uses all three of Aristotle’s rhetorical styles (ethos, logos, and pathos) in her essay “Mother Tongue.” First of all, she uses ethos in the first couple of paragraphs to establish her identity as a writer.
The poem Search for my Tongue, written by Sujata Bhatt, is similar to Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan, The line "I thought I spit it out" refers to the metaphor the whole poem is based on, that to speak two languages, to be a part of two cultures, is j...