Why Is Language So Powerful? Essay

960 Words Sep 15th, 2015 4 Pages
Essay 1: Why is Language So Powerful? Most people may think a language is just a tool for communication, but a language is much more like a symbol of power. A language could be used to decide an individual 's personality, knowledge, or even social status. In Amy Tan 's, "Mother Tongue" and James Baldwin 's, "If Black English Isn 't a Language, Then Tell Me What Is" both authors mention the struggle of enunciating, but also how language could unite people . Generally, natives tend to treat foreigners unintentionally different from their own because they can feel a barrier, a strange foreign language, which caused them to distance themselves from the others. Only those that speak the same language would unconsciously unify and form a community. Therefore, language is very powerful because it can bind a certain group together, or could create a barrier that isolates a certain person or group. In Amy Tan 's "Mother Tongue", language seems to have shown a great influence in Tan 's life when she says, "I spend a deal of my time thinking about the power of language... language is the tool of my trade...". Tan often uses improper English, or rather "broken" English, to speak to her mother and her husband while she uses proper English to talk to her friends. In her opinion "broken" English, which she mentions earlier, is rather a language that binds her family together. Over "twenty years" she uses this "broken" language with her husband and "he even uses it with" Tan. In her…

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