Argumentative Essay - Language and Identity

1025 Words Feb 21st, 2013 5 Pages
English Composition

Language and Identity

Who am I? What is it that defines that personality? Anzaldua argues in her essay that the language is what defines one’s identity. Language is indeed an important component of culture, and culture is known to be a crucial definer of identity. People use language to connect to their identities and communicating their realities and values to themselves and to the world around them… In other words, language is important because people use it to express their thoughts and beliefs. “People evolve a language in order to describe and thus control their circumstances” (Baldwin 109). Consequently, language does not necessarily define identity as much as identity defines language. People decide on
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Tan argues that her mom spoke broken English that limited the people’s perception of her capacities. “People in department stores, banks, restaurants, did not take her seriously” (Tan 144)which strictly proves that people who do speak the proper language of the specific group they happen to be in generates a different treatment than that a true English speaker. Baldwin denounces that black Americans are treated differently than white Americans because they speak English with a different accent. When speaking “Black English, you have confessed your parents, your youth, your school, your salary, your self-esteem, and, alas, your future” (Baldwin 110) according to Baldwin. People associate language with background which then leads to choose to treat that specific person a talk to him a way they associate with the people who speak that exact same language. In this case, for the minority, it is language that assumes their behavior, but for the other dominant group, it is identity that shapes behavior. It is their identity that tells them that a specific language must be allocated with that specific type of person and then treat them in the way it is conventions set. People speak a specific language because it is in their identity to do so, and they choose to treat people differently according to language. This allows me to conclude that identity defines language, and language triggers behavior.

Language is a major

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