HOW TO TAME A WILD TONGUE
The writer dialogue within relation to a dilemma she faced about her own language and how she represents herself through her language. Gloria Anzaldua who is a Chicano talks about how Chicanas have problems expressing their feelings. Since they lack a native language, instead it is a product of several languages. And their language Chicano Spanish has incorporated bits and pieces of several versions of Spanish. The author speaks about people who are neither Spanish nor live in a country in which Spanish is the first language; for a people who live in a country in which English is the reigning tongue but who are not Anglo; for a people who cannot entirely identify with either standard Spanish no standard English. So she emphasizes the importance to have their owned language. A language which they can connect their identity to , one capable of communicating the realities and values true to themselves- a language that comprises a variation of two languages. I knew after reading the first few paragraphs of Anzaldua’s “How to Tame a Wild Tongue” (1987) that she was going to have a lot to say. In this passage Anzaldua expresses the challenges she faced growing up in America as a Chicano. She gives a brief breakdown of who she is, where she comes from and which languages she prefers to speak. Her argument starts off explaining how she was made to be ashamed of existing. She then walks us through how she overcame the tradition of silence. Inspired by Mexican movies since her childhood, it was the shock of reading a published Chicano novel that gave her the strength to bite back. She wrote” When I saw poetry written in Tex-Mex for the first time, a feeling of pure joy flashed through me. I felt like we really existed as people” (pg40). As a child she was told by the dentist that he had never seen anything as strong and stubborn as her tongue. It would push out wads of cotton, drills and needles. It was her tongue that would got her three licks...
References: Anzaldua, G. (1987). “How to Tame a Wild Tongue”. Borderlands: Random House, Inc.
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