Take Pride in Your Language
Have you ever taught about the importance of language and cultural identity? “Wild Tongue cannot be tamed, they can only be cut out”, this saying is the stage for the analysis and argument, the narrator constructs regarding the issue. Gloria Anzaldua’s “How to Tame a Wild Tongue” expresses the need for the language of Chicano Spanish, Chicano culture to be recognized as valid.
The narrator relates to her childhood experience, a Chicana that has struggled expressing her feelings. “If you want to be American, speak ‘American’, if you don’t like it, go back to Mexico where you belong”. Her Anglo teacher admonished her for speaking Spanish when it was all a misunderstanding. It was a harsh moment she experienced; nobody likes the feeling of being criticized in a free country. As a child Anzaldua had many obstacles and stereotypes to overcome because of her accent. Her problems then concerned her self-esteem, and how she valued herself.
Anzaldua quotes her mother’s desire for her children to speak English without an accent in order to have a great future; “I want you to speak English, pa’ hallar buen trabajo tienes que saber hablar el ingles bien. Que vale tu educacion si todavia hablas ingles con un ‘accent’”. Her mother was mortified that she spoke English like a Mexican. Chicanos believed that they spooked poor Spanish, so they were afraid to communicate in their own language. It was a big struggle for Anzaldua to be herself and speak her preferred language. Not even her mother agreed with her, but she refused to reject her own heritage simply for the sake of belonging.
It must be hard to try and fit in society and deal with the negativity around, but by Anzaldua’s actions and attitude she preferred to keep speaking the language she preferred. “If a person, Chicana or Latina, has a low estimation of my native language, she also has a low estimation of me”. “So if you want to really hurt me, talk badly about my language, ethnic...
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