In the article “Mother Tongue”, Amy Tan takes the reader on a journey of language through her life. She encounters several different kinds of language usage throughout her life. The realization of this comes only after she becomes a novelist and begins to give speaking engagements, comparing her speeches to groups to the way she talks with her mother and husband and starting to examine the differences. She discovers that the usage of different Englishes doesn’t make people less intelligent, it just makes them different people. Her journey starts with her childhood and progresses through learning her mother’s English, to English in school and concludes with her becoming a writer.
She made a book which was about her writing, her life, and of course her book. She included many English’s that are used till this day in different immigrant households and how some people can understand their type of English and others don’t. Amy Tan describes how growing up her mother’s limited English limited her perception of her. She would sometimes feel ashamed of her English because it reflected upon others in restaurants, banks, or department stores. In Mother Tongue Amy made a great point when she spoke about how when she was fifteen years old her mother would have her call people on the phone and pretend it was her in order to ask and receive the correct information she needed.
She states: “...her intent, her passion, her imagery, the rhythms of her speech and the nature of her thoughts” (4). Tan realizes that just because her mother’s english isn’t perfect, it does not mean that she is not capable. This revelation from Tan exemplifies a loving tone that gives the reader overwhelming emotions. Tan shifts to talking about the hurdles she and her mother had to overcome because of their English. She had no confidence in her mother growing up, and saw her as a “limit” and an “embarrassment”.
Summary of “Mother Tongue” In the article “Mother Tongue”, Amy Tan shows the idea that we speak different languages depend on who is our audience and the environment we grew up. We are classified by the way we speak. Basically, she described the comparison between “Broken English” and Standard English. The author is a writer, who is fascinated by language in daily life. First time she realized that the different “Englishes” she uses is when giving a talk about her book, The Joy Club, she found one of the audience is her mother, who was using different English with her.
Our “Mother Tongue” is what gives us identity; it defines who we are, and therefore, people should value their native languages. The effect of western education on the relationship between parents and children is also another theme in the article. The initial bad relationship between Tan and her mother is caused by Tan’s feeling that that her mother is uncivilized and uneducated. This problem is common in the present world where once children have attained western education, they start disrespecting their parents or disassociating with them because they feel ashamed of the parents’ mother tongue influenced English. It is important that people learn to appreciate their parents irrespective of their level of education or their cultural background; after all, we owe our lives to
Tanya wants to inspire those of her culture that can relate to what she is going through, while also asking for acceptance within the Latino community. Tanya was brought to the United States by her parents who were fluent in both languages. One parent was an artist and the other a psychology professor. Her parents only wanted what was best for her, so they only allowed them to read, write, and speak English. Tanya’s parents did this because they wanted her to fit into this, “red, white and blue world.”(pg 8) They wanted her to be able to speak the English language without a hint of the Spanish accent.
Yale Law School professor Amy Chua has written the article. “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior”. In the article she describes how she has raised her children and which methods she has used. She starts of by reeling off allot of things her children was not allowed to do things as: “attend a sleepover, watch TV or play computer games…” and so on. Amy Chua brings up the terms “Western parents” and “Chinese mother” she explains the differences between the two.
Anzaldúa remembers being punished because of speaking Spanish in her school. Her mother wasn't satisfied to the fact that she spoke English like a Mexican. Therefore, She had to take two speech classes when she was in her university in order to get rid of her accent. It was not only an attempt to cut out her wild tongue, but it was an attempt to get her into American culture. The author also discuss about being an immigrant, and other people in this area did not identify with any of the languages spoken by the majorities of people around her.
The bulk of the story explains her experience with different writing styles after her decision to focus everything on English. When Amy had initially started her career as a writer, she had tried her hardest to use a complicated, “overly sophisticated” form of English with lines such as: “That was my mental quandary in its nascent state.” She had never taken the time to think about the possible audience of her stories at this stage in her career. This has caused many lines in the original drafts of her stories to ultimately get scrapped because of the major breakthrough in her career. She had decided to begin writing in a style that would, “make sense” to her mother, using a dialect that would allow her mother to completely interpret and understand her stories. What she didn’t mention was what had caused such a change in her writing.
The Hmong people do not believe in mental and physical illness. They only believe in spiritual problems. Sukey told Anne to go and get a “cultural broker” to help her with the Lee family. Anne realized that she has to have less status in the Lee’s house due to them not liking being belittled. “Everything depends on who sent you” was the phrase they used in the book so, Bila Yao Moua set up the meeting between the Lee’s and Anna and May Ying.