People may consider her mother tongue to be ‘broken’ or ‘fractured’, or in another way they consider them as ‘limited English’, where people tend to relate limited English and limited perception together. She felt ashamed that people look down on them due to their limited English speaking skills, to a point where people don’t treat them seriously. She also gives examples of the embarrassment that she has to pretend to be her mother and talk on the phone to solve problems
Everyone wants to experience freedom and independence. The definition of freedom can be extended through the use of denotative meanings, connotative meanings, and other people’s definition. With freedom comes responsibility and freedom is choice, without choice freedom cannot be experienced. Freedom can be given as easily as it can be taken. The Denotative meaning of freedom can be expressed through the dictionary definition, through antonyms and synonyms from the thesaurus, and from a negative definition.
Tan’s mother’s “broken” English was a contradiction because she could comprehend much more than what her English tended to show. Amy Tan stresses that her mom knows that her “broken” English limits her. When Tan was growing up, she had to call and pretend that she was her mother to get people to pay attention. Often Tan yelled at the person on the other side of the phone for being rude to her mother before. For example, Tan had to call her mother’s stockbroker and ask why he didn’t bother to send the check.
This “broken” English limited even Tan’s own perception of her mother; she believed her mother’s imperfect English meant that her mother’s ideas and thoughts must be imperfect as well. When in public, people would pretend to not understand her mother or just flat out ignore her. Tan talks about being one of the main avenues of communication for her mother, pretending to be her on calls to a stockbroker, interpreting what her mother wished to say into formal English for others. She believed that due to her mother’s limitations that it would effectively limit her own possibilities in the future. As an adult, Tan takes great effort to point out that, although her mother speaks in “broken” English, this by no means lessens her mother’s intelligence; she reads the Forbes report, listens to Wall Street Week, and engages in daily calls with her stockbroker.
Novelist Amy Tan (Libi Pedder / Camera Press / Retna) Tan proves her point about parents’ influence on people’s life when she states “I think my mother’s English almost had an effect on limiting my possibilities in life as well”. By talking about how her mother’s English lacked a certain wholeness and clarity, she explains why her thoughts about her mother tongue were different when she was a child; “I believed that her English reflected the quality of what she had to say.” People in department stores, at banks, and at restaurants didn’t take her mother seriously, didn’t give her good service, pretended not to understand her, or even acted as if they didn’t hear her. Here Tan emphasizes the importance of mother tongue in somebody’s life. She believes that people may not be treated respectfully because of their poor speaking of any language. She never reflects on her mother’s difficulties as something that could’ve motivated her to become a writer.
Tan acknowledges her mother’s broken English to be full of grammatical errors, yet it is unique and natural. Because Tan grew up with her mother’s broken English, she was ashamed and didn’t feel like she fit in. It limited her perception of her mother and how she expressed herself. Her thoughts weren’t clear and people never took her seriously whenever she went out in public. Some people would ignore her and not even acknowledge she was there.
Unfortunately, Josefina felt she had no say or other means to get the needed money to help release her husband from prison. She worked as a caretaker and was to serve Miss Amy, who was prejudiced against “Hispanics and Latinos” (Fuentes 2017). Miss Amy treated her poorly by calling her names and purposely putting her in situations where she was accused of wrongdoing. In one instance, Miss Amy says, “Mexicans are supposed to be lazy” (1980). She would also accuse Josefina of losing her husband’s picture.
She is trying to explain to her son some months after leaving her husband and Christopher that she is not a very good mother. She says that she is not a ‘pacient person’ like Christopher’s father. This letter reveals that her writing style is somewhat like Christopher’s, in that she often writes in long yet simplistic sentences. Unlike Christopher though, she is capable of describing her emotions. She recognises that she got angry and upset because she was unable to handle Christopher’s behaviour when they went shopping at Christmas.
By that meaning, when Amy Tan was a kid, she saw how her mother had difficulties in the society because the lack of communication. Therefore, when she grew up, she learned English in the right and correct way and became a successful writer. This is similar to a time when I was in her situation, I was ashamed of my parents broken English wherever they go, I had to speak for them; their limited English reflected the quality of what they had to say. That is because they weren’t able to express their thoughts, the correct way and nobody was taking them seriously, it was because of their broken English language, they were not getting good services
The use of embedded dialogue implies the different view on the Leeds accent emphasised in his mother being disgusted with him and believes he was not "brought up to write such mucky books!" As his accent goes against his education. The exclamatory used within the dialogue suggests that she is appalled with the language used. Harrison also uses a sex pun