Amy Tan's Story Mother Tongue Essay

636 Words 3 Pages
Amy Tan's Story Mother Tongue

A good portion of Americans today speak English as their first language. However, what makes us different is that it is rare to find two people that speak the exact same English. This is the argument Amy Tan makes in her story “Mother Tongue”. A first-generation Asian American, Tan emigrated from China to Oakland, California, where she became a famous writer. She shares her personal story of the English she speaks, and how much the people you are around can change the way you converse. While at home, she speaks to her mother in a “broken” sort of choppy English that she can understand. When she is talking to people she works with or deals with on a more business-oriented basis, she uses clearly
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Tan’s purpose was again, to share her personal account of her obstacles within the English language. She shares her story in the form of a personal narrative that people of all sorts can relate to and understand. Narrative forms are always entertaining to read, because it gives the reader a more personal feel. They can read Tan’s story and feel what she is feeling, see what she is seeing. Narratives are like a door into a different person’s life.

When looking at this essay, there are three appeals that should be accounted for. Logos, or logic, involves looking for arguments that make sense in a piece. Amy Tan’s essay is very logical. It makes complete sense, and is simple to understand. Being that it is a narrative, she uses examples to back up her statements about English. She tells the stories of her mother dealing with the stockbroker and the hospital as means to make her point clearer. Ethos looks at the author’s credibility. Tan is a well-known writer, and does a lot of public speaking. We can trust her qualifications as a writer and an English speaking American. When she shares her stories we can be sure that she is someone we can believe. Lastly, pathos, or emotion, is an appeal in writing. Especially with this type of writing, it is easy to find. “Mother Tongue” evokes

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