Amy Tan Mother Tongue Analysis

927 Words 4 Pages
In the story “Mother Tongue”, Amy Tan tries to distinguish the difference between two different cultures as a child. She is raised by her mother who speaks “broken” English, and the outside world where perfect English is spoken. Amy had a hard time as a child because of the different Englishes that were spoken. Tan as an adult continues to find the difference between the languages that are spoken, even though she knows that the one spoken by her mother will never improve. Tan’s attitude towards mother tongue starts as being embarrassed and ashamed, because Mother Tongue was the only type of English that her mother could speak. As the essay progresses, Tan learns to accept her mother’s broken english and uses it as inspiration for her writings. …show more content…
All she heard during her childhood was Mother Tongue, this contradicted all the teaching that she was taught at school. Amy realized that with her mother’s limitations on English was a limitation on Amy’s perspective of her mother. Amy’s mother also realized that she had limitations in English as well, “When I was fifteen, she used to have me call people” (Tan 509). Amy’s mother knew that if she called people they would not understand what she was talking about, so she had her daughter that spoke perfect English call the people, so they would understand what was being said. Amy felt that this did not help her mother perfect her English. The mother tongue affected more than Amy’s mother’s inability to perfect her English, it affect Amy in school. Mother tongue had a great affect on Amy throughout school, because it affected her on many of the major test that she had to take when she was younger. Amy blamed the mother tongue when she was younger, due to the fact that she would barely pass her English class and tests. When she would take the tests when she was younger she would think about how to put the critical thinking part of the test in the English that she used at home. She felt that with mother tongue, she was not able to overcome the stereotype that Chinese were only good at math and science, Amy felt that as she was getting older she was going to break the stereotypes that were

Related Documents