Gloria Anzaldua and Amy Tan

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Anzaldua would not really agree with Tan’s goal for her writing. In a society where perfection is practically expected but impossible to achieve, language is one of the many ways that anyone around us can judge us. It is as Tan said, “…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 her. “ Tan even said how her mother’s English ashamed her, that because her mother’s English was limited, it limited her perception of her mother, and that since her words were said imperfectly her mother’s thoughts were imperfect. There are instances every day of people that are not fluent in English, not being treated with the same respect, kindness, and service as their counterparts that are fluent. For some reason, it is embedded in most Americans’ minds that if someone cannot speak English as well as themselves, they are either not intelligent, not worthy of their time, or even not considered to be anywhere near important as someone who can. In Azaldua’s essay she goes in-depth in explaining the many different kinds of Spanish, and how and where they are used. Some of the different types of languages that she spoke included; standard English, working class and slang English, standard Spanish, standard Mexican Spanish, north Mexican Spanish dialect, Chicano Spanish, Tex-Mex, and Pachuco. However Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California have different regional variations for Chicano Spanish. She also wrote on how she was punished for speaking Spanish or “talking back to her teacher.” Even her mother was mortified that she was speaking English like a Mexican. When she was in college she even had to take two classes that were aimed to get rid of her accent. Azaldua is very correct in her statement that, “Attacks on one’s form of expression with the intent to censor are a violation of the First Amendment.” (P.33)

Azaldua was...