A Summary of "Mother Tongue"

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In the essay “Mother Tongue”, the author Amy Tan presents the process that she turned the negative impact of her mother’s “limited” English to the positive influence of her writing style.
First, Tan introduces herself and her writing. She is a writer who uses all kinds of English that she is familiar with in her writing. Furthermore, she mentions that she realizes lately that the way she talks with her family is different from the way she communicates with others.

Tan goes on to write about her mother’s “limited English”. She first describes how her mother speaks English by presenting a paragraph of her mother’s comment to a person. Then, she takes the examples of calling a stockbroker and dealing with the lost CAT scan in the hospital to prove that her mother’s English has a limitation to convey her mother’s thoughts. Additionally, she states that her mother’s “broken English” affects her English skill badly. She separately illustrates two types of questions that she is not good at, which are sentence completion and word analogies.

What is more, Tan expresses how she becomes the person she is now. She thinks about why Asian Americans hardly ever achieve in English literature at the beginning. She then shows us her resolution to be a writer by listing the challenges she overcame. Finally, she develops her own writing style that is simply using the language she speaks to her mother in her essays.

To conclude, Tan claims that she finds a reader, her mother, in order to capture her mother’s essence. Her standard of writing a successful story is when her mother saying the essay is “easy to read”.
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