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Argument Analysis of Mother Tongue by Amy Tan - Essay Example

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English 9 May 2012 Argument Analysis of ‘Mother Tongue’ by Amy Tan Mother tongue authored by Amy Tan reflects her personal rumination and assessment concerning “broken English” as opposed to Standard English. In her perspective, language “authorizes” people to become members of a specific society…
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Argument Analysis of Mother Tongue by Amy Tan

Download file to see previous pages... This directed her attention towards the usage of a distinct language, the familial English. Given the portrayal of language skills by Tan, one cannot help but agree with the authoress. The bonds associated with language and the resulting personalised recognition is all too common in everyone’s life. One major issue faced by immigrant families is that it may not be possible for all members of the family to speak flawless English as indicated in the essay by Tan. In order to shed light on this concept, she quotes a story narrated by her mother. The story itself was trivial but the noteworthy point was her mother’s grammatical errors. The content was quite hard to decipher due to those grammatical mistakes; however, the authoress asserts that her mother apparently had an excellent grip over English. As a child, her mother’s “broken” English mortified Tan. She considered that imperfection of speech, actually depicted imperfection of thoughts. On the other hand, her mother encouraged her to think distinctively. Years later, she appreciates the essence of unique thinking and academically studies English. It was at this point in time that she recognized the meaningfulness and worth of being able to use various types of English Language; and started appreciating her mother’s potential. Their broken English symbolises a language of intimacy between them, where they can speak anything grammatically wrong to covey something special. This newfound love and knowledge compelled her to write about her mother, “I wanted to capture what language ability tests can never reveal: her intent, her passion, her imager, the rhythms of her speech, and the nature of her thoughts”. Tan was so inspired from her mother’s heritage that she resolved that her mother should be the first reader and critic. She states at the end, “I knew I had succeeded where it counted when my mother finished reading my book and gave me her verdict: so easy to read”. All of us undergo similar experiences, carrying hidden treasures within us and sometimes being away or detached from our roots enables us to appreciate the true worth of those treasures. Tans fundamental purpose in writing is to produce texts, which are comprehendible for a ‘common man’ like her mother. I was touched and captivated by the true to life context of Tan’s work. It is primarily directed at immigrant families and students who use English as a second language for studying and the like. However, for the authoress her mother is the most imperative target. She appears to have contemplated extensively on the power and role of language and expresses her perspective through this essay. She maintains that the importance of a language does not lie in its being broken or perfect. She emphasizes familial languages should be protected, preserved. English enabled her to gain knowledge, recognize the world around her; hence, she considered it her mother tongue. The tone of the authoress is sentimental as the essay revolves around her personal experiences. Thereby, several statements and reviews based on her past are illustrated as she writes in the start, “I cannot give you much more than personal opinions”. It appears that the authoress has an additional objective, to express gratitude. From the essay, we get the impression that her mother was primarily ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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