An in-Deep Understanding of “Mother Tongue”

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An In-Deep Understanding of “Mother Tongue” In the essay “Mother Tongue”, Amy Tan accomplishes in three things simultaneously: she appeals the audiences emotionally by providing the pictures of the experiences between her mother and her; she shows the struggle of cultural racism that her mother and she go through without pointing out directly; and she puts some odd things into the essay and make it expressive. Amy Tan’s essay is very successful because she writes in her personal and “easy to read” style. Without the special English she uses in her writing, we may not easily understand and accept her ideas. Tan writes about that she has grown up with using different kinds of English: the English she learned in school and she uses in public, and the English she uses in speaking with her mother, which is described as the “broken” English. Moreover it comes to her sense that language is not only a communication tool but also an essential thing in enabling individuals to define their identities. And Amy Tan writes this article not only toward her critics, but also towards herself as a reflection of her relationship with her mother and how it has led her to where she is today. In the article, the author divides the essay into three parts with the very clear dividing mark—space, which offers a quick suggestion for the readers that every part has its own idea and purpose. With the help of the dividing hint, we can look at what Amy Tan tries to say in each part and how each part fits into the main idea of the whole essay. Part one including paragraph one to seven, presents the “standard” English that the author speaks in her speech and the “language of intimacy” she uses with her mother and even with her husband. In part two that is composed of ten paragraphs—paragraph eight to seventeen, Amy Tan illustrates that her mother is treated roughly with her “broken”

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