Laugage and Its Impact in Culture, Power, and Identiy

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Language After reading several meaningful essays on the topic of language, including “Mother Tongue” by Amy Tan and “If Black English Isn’t a Language, Then Tell Me, What Is?” by: James Baldwin, and its ramifications and the parts that contribute to one’s language or form of English, I have come to the realization that although culture, power, and identity impact a persons language, culture, power, and identity are impacted by the language you speak. Much of Amy Tan’s argument defending her mother’s language, which she describes, with lack of a better word, as “Broken” English, has to do with her culture. Tan is California born, from parents who are immigrants from china. She speaks of how she once tried to distance herself from her Chinese culture when she thought that it gave her a bad reputation. But while writing her first novel she realized that Her culture and her background made her the writer and gave her the language she speaks today. Baldwin mentions the fact that we owe some of the Standard English language to the black form of English, which was derived from old clack culture. Tan’s Argument also includes many examples that have to do with how language and power relate to each other. She begins her article by mentioning that she is not an English Scholar, but she does take pride in her writing and often thinks of the power of language (178). She backs up this statement with an example, “My mother has long realized the limitations of her English as well. When I was fifteen, she used to have me call people on the phone to pretend I was she. In this guise, I was forced to ask for information or even to complain and yell at people who had been rude to her.” (180). This was followed by an example Tan mentioned about how she had to call her mother’s stock broker to tell him that he must send her, her money back that day or else they would travel to

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