As a writer, Amy Tan is familiar with the proper forms of English but when she is around her family she tends to use her “mother tongue”. “Mother Tongue” is the “watered down” or “broken”, as she would call it, form of English that Tan grew up with due to her mother’s lack of knowledge. In her essay, Tan states “I've heard other terms used, "limited English," for example. But they seem just as bad, as if everything is limited, including people's perceptions of the limited English speaker. I know this for a fact, because when I was growing up, my mother's "limited" English limited my perception of her.
The life at school was Americanized and full of English speaking students and texts. She recalls being hurt by people saying, “You’re not like us. You’re not one of us. Speaking Spanish is odd.” (Writer) Mora would speak Spanish at home to her family and relatives, however at school she would often hide that she was bi-lingual, knowing that people don’t often want to be a part of a ‘group’ that is often described as poor and uneducated. Mora recalls there were times that she wished
Amy Tan explores the idea of variable language in her short essay Mother Tongue. Tan is the daughter of Chinese immigrants. She grows up watching her parents, especially her mother, struggle with learning the English language. While her mother does gain skill in speaking the English language, she never masters language in the sense that we expect of someone who lives in an English speaking country. As a child, Tan is embarrassed by her mother’s difficulty in language and eventually she sees growing up the child of an Asian immigrant home as the reason she struggled in school to excel in reading and writing.
Tan, because she was often ashamed of the way her mother spoke what she called “Broken or Limited English”, she was ashamed of what people would say about her mother and the way she talked. Tan’s mother was a victim. One example was the way the hospital treated her when she went to New York about her CAT scan, but as soon as they talked to Tan the situation changed. Another was with the stockbroker and her getting the check and as soon as the people spoke to Tan it was another story. In other words when Tan spoke with proper English she was treated differently opposed to how her mother was treated for speaking her limited English.
They reside down the street, and are thrown out of their home with all of their belongings confiscated, and all because they could not pay their rent. Mama did not want her children living in fear of what took place at the Jensens’, she wants them to live with the nicest things they could afford and assurance that they could keep those things. In order to give her children the assurance they deserve Mama told them that they have money in the bank. A second example of the children being able to feel secure with their financial situation, comes in the very beginning of the story. One of the children says “Teacher says I’ll need a notebook,” any of the three children can tell Mama that they are in need of new school supplies because they feel financially secure.
And then she was still, for Lennie had broken her neck”(100). And so, she was dead. Well, this quote “I don't like curley. He ain't a nice fella” clearly means that Curley was rude and not nice to his wife. She did not have a lot of privileges like she couldn’t talk to anyone else but Curley because Curley would get mad.
Being a child in a dysfunctional family has made growing up more difficult because even though my sister pointed out to me that our parents cared for us deeply, she convinced me that they unintentionally neglected us and our emotional needs—according to a study she came across. She shared with me that this study was explained to her that over 7,000 parents in dysfunctional families neglect their children. I was overwhelmed at the fact that my siblings and I all fell under this statistic and our social life was paying the price. Growing up in a dysfunctional family causes children to struggle with their social life. My definition of a dysfunctional family is one when there is malfunction; when the parents don’t meet the basic emotional needs for their children.
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.
When she notices her mother in the room, a mother who speaks broken English, and with whom Tan realizes that she speaks broken English to, feels as though her elaborate speech is wrong, that it doesn’t fit well. When her tale transitions to the hardships her mother has gone through for her inability to speak ‘intelligent’ English, the main point of the essay is first made known. How do the different dialects and ‘Englishes’ used affect the way others perceive you and does their use gives and takes away intimacy and emotion. To come to this point, Tan relates to stories from her childhood, of a mother using her child to speak for her so that she isn’t judged, of a mother who is looked down upon despite her intelligence, just because she cannot speak English well. She goes on to say that her mother’s poor grip of English affects her too, limiting her skills in English classes, all the while teachers prompt her to transition her focus to maths and sciences.
It’s not easy for Connie to live with her mother, who constantly harps on the way Connie looks and how she doesn’t live up to her sister reputation. “If Connie’s name was mentioned it was in a disapproving tone.”. Every time Connie’s mother comments anything about June’s profile, it pushed Connie unconsciously to be nothing like her sister. Mother usually complained about her about habit of looking into a mirror. The narrator states the mother’s resentment of Connie’s beauty because “her looks were gone and that was why she was always after Connie.”.