Even her daughter as well as society later refers her mothers English as broken. And because of that in her younger years, Amy felt somewhat embarrassed by her mothers English. And felt that her view of her mother was legit because of instances as such in (3rd paragraph 507). “I had plenty of empirical evidence to support me: the fact that people in department stores, at banks, and at restaurants did not take her seriously, did not give her good service, pretended not to understand her, or even acted as if they did not hear
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.
It is evident that Tan’s mother is considered by the society as inferior because of her broken English. Even her daughter was first ashamed of her due to the fact that she cannot speak good English that is understood by many people in the society. However, the significance of “Mother Tongue” in our lives is the overriding theme in the article. From the beginning, Tan struggles with her two different worlds. Being born in China but living in America, she seems ashamed of her roots and that is why she is embarrassed when her mother speaks broken English (Tan 142-146).
It demands from us respect, attention, and comprehension. Therefore, we need to choose books correctly, accordingly to our age and taste. In the essay “I was a Teenage Illiterate”, by Cathleen Schine, the author shares with us her experiences with literature and reading. Shine tells us how, in spite of her graduate work, she felt stupid among her new New York friends when she discovered her knowledge of literature contained only medieval authors and books. She seemed illiterate.
For example, "It has become our language of intimacy, a different sort of English that relates to family talk, the language I grew up with" (397). Tan is so used to hearing her mother talk in a "Broken" (398) English, which she does not seem to notice much of a difference between broken English and clear English. She grew up listening to her mother talk this way and has gotten used to it. This way when Tan and her mother talk it is how their family talks, their own special way they communicate to one another. Rodriguez shares this same family quality like Tan and her mother’s language.
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. So what I’m trying to say is sometimes people that speak different languages don’t always get the proper service that they should because of Linguistic Terrorism. I’ve found an example of Linguistic Terrorism online: A recent case in which a Hispanic man lost custody of his only daughter because he tried to teach her Spanish against the wishes of his Anglo wife. He lost the case- not because he was an abusive father, not because he was neglectful, but because he tried to teach his daughter more about her culture and the language of her relatives and ancestors. Where is the freedom of speech there?
This had been for Alison’s emotional needs at the time. She never would talk to her parents about what she was really feeling. She would write in her diary, made poetry in parts of the book, Fun Home is a perfect example of her emotional needs as well. Her parents weren’t helping with communicating as well. Ian Sample tells us that psychologists say, “Brain scans on volunteers showed that putting feelings down on paper reduces activity in a part of the brain called the amygdala, which is responsible for controlling the intensity of our emotions”.
Knowledge is not always power because the more you know does not necessarily mean you understand what you have learned. In the short story “Everyday Use”, education seemed to make a rift in the relationship not only between the mother and the daughter, but also between the sisters. Dee was one to always try and outsmart her family members always seeking answers knowing no one knew. It was mama who eventually got the community together to help send Dee to school so her daughter would be happy and satisfied. The values of heritage seem to have been lost with the gain of knowledge when Dee has gone to college.
She had never intended to write about her past, but had to do so as a college class assignment, never thinking it would be published in a book. During this assignment she realized how liberating it was to put her thoughts down on paper. It made her remember things about her childhood that she had almost forgotten (Bloom 376). These stories are aimed towards the audience of adults. “Wake-up call” is written for adolescence and young adults.
''At that age, if one’s name is changed, one develops a curious form of dual personality'' (Rau, 1951). Dumas and Rau both had to cope with a dual life; Dumas lived a hard life growing up because of her name while Rau faced racism because of her race (Indian). People couldn't pronounce or remember Dumas' name and sometimes they made fun of her by calling her funny/offensive names that's when she decided she had enough of this and took the decision in changing her name to Julie because it sounded American and was easier for everyone to remember and pronounce. At first she was enjoying being Julie and having everyone say Hi to her, talking to her with no difficulties in remembering her name, and having lots of friends but then they started talking bad about her people, iranians, infront if her because they thought she was American. When Dumas started going to college she went back to using her original but then she gradauted and started looking fo jobs unfortunately no one hired her because of her foreign name so she went back to naming herself Julie.