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Literary Analysis - Essay Example

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Both “Native Speaker” by Lee Chang-Rae and “Mother Tongue” by Amy Tan are dedicated to language barrier of Asian American within English-speaking society. The writers belong to American-born generation, which has come across the problem of bilinguals. Having moved in a…
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Literary Analysis
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Literary Analysis

Download file to see previous pages... The works under discussion contain autobiographic motive, because the writers have experienced disadvantages of being bilingual. The novel “Native Speaker” describes life of a mixed marriage in New York through the prism of power of language. Henry Park is a non-native speaker, who has made a successful career in Glimmer and Associates, but is not separated from his national roots. He works among multicultural staff, that’s why he should be tactful and flexible enough. His wife Leila teaches English at school and comes across linguistic barrier and conflicts in multi-cultural society. In the essay “Mother Tongue” the author demonstrates variety of language in everyday life. Tan’s mother belongs to a well-known and respected family in Shanghai and has been living there for several decades. For people of her age it is not so easy to adapt to new social and cultural conditions in the USA. “The lack of shared languages and cultural logics remains a central theme throughout all the narratives in Tan’s book. This absence transcends the simple linguistic dichotomies or cultural misunderstandings.” (Bloom et al, 2001)
In this case, poor knowledge of language is the main obstacle for Asian Americans. It affects perception and attitude towards representatives of ethnic minorities in different spheres of life. The episode at the hospital shows that medical staff breaks official rules and treats Mrs. Tan improperly only because they lack of time to find a lost medical record. She is a middle-aged Asian American, who speaks emotionally and makes many mistakes; thus, many English native-speakers would consider Mrs. Tan as a limited, slow-witted person. This is a long-term effect of a wrong historical theory that white race prevails over other ethnic groups. Although US society is multinational, Eurocentric model of thinking is a ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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