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Mother Tongue Amy Tan Thesis Essay

Mother tongue mother tongue mother tongue mother tongue mother tongue mother tongue mother tongues. Her words are tangible, tangible in my mouth and in my hands, they are the most beautiful sounds I know. Mother tongues- not just one language but many languages that she speaks with her family and friends- is a theme that runs through all of Amy Tan’s work.

Essay 1

As a Southerner growing up in rural Wakulla County, I have frequently experienced prejudice based on my southern accent and language style. Dialects and word choice are important when it comes to tying individuals from different groups together with a shared heritage. The bond that can bring people together from the same group is just as strong as the power to separate those who are not in the same group. In “Mother Tongue,” Amy Tan explores the significance of language.

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The article’s thesis statement, which is taken from Tan’s essay – “I spend a lot of my time thinking about the power of language in terms of evoking an emotion, a visual image, a complex idea, or even a simple truth” (Tan 633) – lays out the tone for the work. I completely agree with Tan when it comes to the strength of language. Even though I’m not bilingual, I’ve had comparable misunderstandings due on to my southern drawl and language style.

People treat you differently based on how you speak, and your view of yourself is influenced. People assess you largely based on the way you talk. I can commiserate with Tan’s mother over her stockbroker’s treatment of her. I can comprehend Tan’s mother’s fury upon learning that her check had not been sent for two weeks. “Why does he not send me a check, already two weeks late?” she asks, clearly frustrated. She isn’t stupid; she understands what is going on around her. nTan’ s mother understands that she is being abused because of the way she uses English language.

People notice if you have a different accent. I’ve discovered that people frequently judge me on the basis of my native accent. They make fun of my speech and imply that I am not as smart as they are. They have no clue that I’m actually quite bright, take specialized classes in school, or am capable of more than they assume. After they get to know me better, most folks discover that I’m clever and capable of more than they previously imagined.

Unfortunately, what people think of you at first may influence how they treat you. Her mother was described as having been neglected by hospital personnel and not receiving vital information about her health because she spoke with a broken English language. I’ve also been in a situation like this where I was surrounded by individuals who didn’t have a southern accent and my voice went unheard.

When Tan thinks about her life, she wonders if “her mother’s English may have had an influence on restricting my potential in life.” (Tan 635) She goes on to say that her language abilities harmed her performance in terms of achievement tests, IQ exams, and the SAT. Math tests were more precise, and math lacked linguistic content, allowing me to do better. As a result of this misconception by my instructors, they believed I would perform better in math and science-related vocations as opposed to other creative vocations. My language style has influenced my academic success in the same way as Tan’s did. On oral tasks, I regularly performed poorly.

Instructors have informed me that my southern accent and speaking style prevented me from achieving a higher grade. My mother has also missed out on chances because to her Southern accent. She has a college diploma and 20 years of expertise, yet she has recently lost job possibilities to less qualified people because to her usage of language. Your use of words may also shape how you perceive yourself. “My mother realized the restrictions imposed by her English,” Tan says about her mother in this passage (Tan 636). Tan’s mother recognized the impact that her language choice had on others’ perceptions of her.

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She would have Tan pretend to be her on the phone, assuring people that she wasn’t a problem and they should ignore or take advantage of her. When I’m in public with no southern accent, I’m more quiet than usual because I’m expecting them to get the wrong impression about me. Amy Tan’s “Mother Tongue” is an eye-opening account on how individuals are neglected and undervalued due to their dialect and language style.

People who read this narrative will be more conscious of their attitude and treatment of others based on their language style and dialect. People with diverse language abilities frequently miss chances due to misperceptions about them, which is why it’s important not only to notice how they sound but also to look past the way they talk to discover their full potential and all they have to offer.

The way you speak has the ability to influence how others regard you, as well as the possibilities that are available to you. I think back over my life and recall all of the times I’ve encountered other people, and I definitely agree with Tan’s hypothesis on the significance of language in terms of how people treat you, what opportunities you are given, and how you see yourself.

Essay 2

Language has played a crucial role in numerous civilizations all around the world throughout history. Language and literature have evolved to be extremely useful tools in human existence’s progress because of continual improvement. These are the reasons for which certain important aspects of language will be discussed in this paper.

This article explores the essay Mother Tongue by Amy Tan, which covers various aspects of language and rhetorical evaluation. It’s worth noting that Amy Tan not only utilized the essay to offer us a look into her world of writing and continuous efforts to improve her English language skills, but she also revealed several rhetorical values and emotional elements of her mother tongue that aided in improving her English and literature expertise. The rhetorical evaluation in this paper will be done on these aspects of her language learning.

Topic Statement: The mother tongue of an individual has a significant impact on his or her language and literary knowledge. Thesis Statement: Despite the fact that there are a number of elements and traits in a mother tongue that contribute to successful learning of language and literature, the most significant ones are educational qualifications and academic expertise, skill in utilizing emotions to convey ideas, and appeal to shared values among the audience.

Brief Summary of the Essay

In a nutshell, Amy Tan’s essay is an account of her life and how she acquired knowledge in various areas of the English language. The distinctions between her “professional” (the English she spoke at official forums like lectures or when writing) and her “intimate” (the English she spoke at home with family and friends) versions of the language are some of these issues.

Her mother tongue (Chinese) presented difficulties in speaking excellent English, and how we should generally aim for simple English (or any language, for that matter) that is both understandable by native and non-native English speakers. In stating these crucial elements, thoughts, notions, and opinions, Amy Tan uses her English audience, her mother, and her husband as examples of her mother tongue influence on English to personalize her speech. Her writing personalizes the issues and provides a human element to her work, making it more accessible to many people, particularly English-as-a-second-language users.

Analysis of Rhetorical Strategies. Is the author qualified?

Considering that Amy Tan is not a native English speaker, she has worked hard to master the language to the point that she can earn a livelihood from her writings, as with the Joy Luck Club; it’s apparent that she is extremely competent as an excellent English writer and speaker.

Furthermore, Amy Tan’s excellent credentials are shown by the fact that she has been able to speak to a variety of audiences about how to enhance their English. Furthermore, Amy is not a professional and would not have been able to deliver these many lectures in an efficient manner. Finally, Amy Tan’s English communication abilities and trustworthiness are established when her mother, who has a “poor” command of the language, is able to read her book until she gives the verdict “so simple to understand.”

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Does the author appeal to the shared values of her audience?

Amy Tan appeals to the common beliefs of her targeted readership, individuals who have English as a second language or literacy difficulties caused by their native tongue. This literary appeal, in essence, explains why Amy’s mother can understand her work so easily. Despite her Chinese mother tongue, Amy Tan still manages to master the English language and give lectures to a professional audience while maintaining strict adherence to English language skills principles. As we reach the conclusion of her essay, Amy acknowledges the necessity of finding a means of communicating and appealing specifically to people like her mother who required simple English.

It’s a wonderful writing ability to be able to appeal to the principles of both complex and basic English audiences. It is, however, worth noting that Amy makes several references in her essay to the fact that her early work was largely based on her life experiences and environment. In as much as this may be interpreted to be a positive thing, the writings do not adequately capture what goes on in other parts of the world when people confront the impact of mother tongue on their English. The family routines, for example, while she was growing up or the “judgement” calls she made while taking tough English exams are not equal for all non-native English speakers.

Does the author use emotions effectively?

The many trials and adventures that Amy Tan went through in order to learn English evoke a wide range of emotions. When she was angry and mischievous because her mother did something she thought was bad for her language learning. She praises her mother, as well as the impact of their native language on who she became as a writer, despite the fact that her attitude is negative. There are also sections in which Amy discusses how she feels about her literary and professional progress as a writer. All of these excellent and horrible emotions clearly show her capacity to communicate through feelings in order to elicit emotion or response from her readership.

Overall Evaluation of the Text’s Effectiveness

Amy Tan successfully communicates to her readers using a variety of language tools, personal experiences, and literary expression of certain emotional problems. Of course there are times in the essay when she exaggerates her experiences and viewpoints to the point where she forgets about her audiences and the need for accuracy. In general, her essay may be deemed successful.


It is clearly evident from the preceding analysis that a person’s qualifications and academic expertise, emotional mastery in the expression of ideas, and appeal to shared values of the targeted audience are important elements that significantly influence language learning. As a result, language pupils should make sure that these aspects are considered during their education procedures.

Essay 3

It might be tough to get used to a new language, especially if it isn’t your native tongue. Amy Tan, the author of “Mother Tongue,” had to cope with this issue. Because no one seemed able to comprehend what she wanted to say, Tan’s mother struggled with the language she spoke. Amy Tan employs her narrative as an opportunity for the audience to understand how language may contribute to prejudice, connection, altered perspectives, and even help open new doors in life.

In “Mother Tongue,” Tan points to her mother as an example of how the English language should not reflect one’s self-esteem. Tan’s mother spoke English but was unable to convey a sense of high pride. Tan noticed that when she spoke in public, she was using big words that her audience comprehended but her mother did not. “I was using phrases like, ‘the intersection of memory and imagination,’ ‘there is a component of my fiction that corresponds to …,’ and so on” (Tan 58).

Tan’s mother was in the room when Tan was giving the speech and she noticed that language might be a powerful tool for connecting people in unexpected ways. The English language may also bring individuals together who speak English but do not have a common understanding of it. “We were talking about new and used furniture prices, and I heard myself say this: “Don’t squander money like that” (Tan 58). Tan and her mother completely comprehended what one other person was saying to them, but if someone else had been there with them, they may not have understood.

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When a family is talking to one another, it can develop into a special language that only they understand. “However, I believe that the family’s language, particularly in immigrant families who are more insular, has an impact on the kid’s tongue.” (60) While the child’s home-taught language may not appear to be useful when used with others, he or she is able to comprehend what his or her family is saying.

Essay 4

English, all it’s subtleties. Then there is the issue of verbal communication in a foreign language that differs from what you’re used to and your mother tongue, which is also known as a lingua franca or a common language. Because they share an unknown target language with no native speaker interaction available for translation, English speakers who communicate in another language often times make mistakes when writing grammatical words and phrases because their target languages are not perfectly comparable to one another.

In Amy Tan’s short story Mother Tongue, the inability to communicate adequately and perceive other viewpoints stifles society’s progress and frequently prevents us from obtaining fresh insights and potential. The narrator’s mother explains how communication is different for everyone, noting that she has difficulties expressing her ideas in a way that others would comprehend and respect.

However, while we may see that she is still a very bright woman with an excellent understanding of the world around her, some people perceive her dialect as “broken.” Amy believes that standardized tests aren’t good indicators of intellect because there are many different types of intelligence and the exam only measures one. Finally, because the narrator grew up in a household where other people saw limited exposure to “proper” language, she has been discouraged from pursuing a career in English (as have so many others in comparable situations).

The importance of communication in this narrative is very apparent in today’s culture due to the recent flood of immigrants to Canada, and the need for them to blend well into Canadian society so we may operate as a diverse country. We must recognize that because people live and behave differently than we do, their customs and habits aren’t any worse or less wonderful.

Essay 5

Communication is without a doubt the most important and impactful aspect of everyday life. The ability of a society to run efficiently, productively, and benefit as many people as possible depends significantly on communication and how effectively it is utilized. To communicate new and creative ideas, share opinions, sort our disputes, and above all better comprehend those around us, we must communicate.

The inability to communicate properly and perceive other people’s viewpoints can stifle progress in society, as described by the short story Mother Tongue by Amy Tan. The narrator’s mother emphasizes how everyone has their own way of expressing themselves, making communication difficult for her.

Amy still appears to be a really bright woman with a tremendous understanding of the world around her, even if some consider her language to be “broken.” Standardized testing, according to Amy, is not an accurate measure of intelligence because there are many different types of intellect and the test only covers one.

Finally, the narrator is discouraged by teachers (as are many others in similar situations) from pursuing a career in English as a result of her lack of exposure to “proper” language. The importance of communication in today’s world is emphasized by the recent flood of immigrants to Canada, and the need for them to integrate well into Canadian society so that we can run smoothly as a diverse nation. Because people lead different lives and have various customs than ours, we must accept that they will interpret things differently than we would.

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