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Mother Tongue by Amy Tan

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Mother Tongue by Amy Tan

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  • July 2011
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Summary
In the essay Mother Tongue, Amy Tan talked about her love and fascination of language, and how language can evoke an emotion, a visual image, and how it’s a tool she uses everyday in writing. She then goes into how she is aware of the different ways she uses the English language, she was in a middle of a speech, talking very precise about her book to a group of people using her knowledge of correct grammar that she has learned throughout school, and books, until she spotted her mother, and started to reminisce about how she holds a conversation with her mom. She starts off by giving a example of a conversation with her mom, they were talking about a price of a piece of furniture and Tan heard herself saying, not waste money that way, and she knows this different kind of English , she has been speaking with her mother, family talk ,she calls it, all of her life. Tan also expresses how at the same time her mother is very intelligent. She reads Forbes report, listens to Wall Street Week, and converses daily with her stockbroker. Tan calls this "Broken" or "Fractured" English. Tan goes into a explanation about how she was also ashamed of her mother’s English, because Tan believed that her English reflected the quality of what she had to say. Tan states she thinks family is the major influence of the way one speaks a certain language. Because of her mother's influence over her life Tan decided to write a book using the English she grew up with, maybe not the correct grammar that critics might look for but people like her mother could enjoy, and find it an easy read (Tan, 2010). Response

I really enjoyed this essay that Tan wrote. Tan explains in many examples her struggles as a Chinese American and how she dealt with her mother and her use of proper English.. I don’t have the same struggles as Tan, so I think I would like to understand what she went through and how she dealt with and overcame the obstacles described in the essay, because I think it would...

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