Summary Of Mother Tongue By Amy Tan

1004 Words 5 Pages
Grounded by Language In Mother Tongue, Amy Tan begins her short story by giving the audience prior knowledge that Tan is not a scholar of English and she is not able to give much more than her past knowledge on the English language. She then proceeds to give the readers an idea of how much she is fascinated by language itself and gives it a grading scale from complex english to simple English. Tan presents her short story by giving the readers a recent experience that made her rethink the past, present, and future.
To illustrate her experiences Tan gives the readers instances when her mom 's struggle with speech made her life tough and how she had to be the “mom” in one particular instance. Since she grew up around family that does not
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For example, Tan gives the readers background information about the Chinese culture and what “broken English”(635) sounds like. She broke down a story that her mom once told her in her in “limited English” (635), in that paragraph I had to read it multiple times to understand the gist of the story. But, Tan understood the story because it is the language she had grown up around. Since her audience primarily speaks complex English, she gave statistics to make the reader feel like they were not alone with not understanding the story that Tan’s mother told her. Tan gives some calculations to show that “some of [her] friends tell [her] they understand 50 percent of what [her] mother says. Some say they understand 80 to 90 percent. Some say they understand none of it, as if [Tan’s mother] was speaking pure Chinese” (Tan 635). Because of the way American’s divide themselves into cliques, some people do not get the chance to pay attention to what others say. Tan evoked the emotion of sympathy when she mentioned that in many situations her mother has been treated differently because of the way she talks. There were countless times that this happened to her mother as in “people in department stores, at banks, and at restaurants did not take her seriously” (635), and …show more content…
The way a person talks should not affect how anyone views the point they are trying to convey. Even when another person interpreted what Tan’s mom was saying, Tan saw “her passion, her imagery, the rhymes of her speech and the nature of her thoughts” (639). Considering all of Tan’s books were about her mother she decided to write fiction books that were straightforward, combining all of the Englishes she grew up with and had been around she created the perfect book. One for all age types, races, genders, and most importantly for Mrs.Tan to

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