Amy Tan: Mother Tongue

Write 4 page essay on the topic Amy Tan: Mother Tongue.Tan’s writing shows her deep love for her mother. Of all the forms of language which she discusses, it is her mother’s language which she truly loves and treasures. She emphatically declares that this is the language “that helped shape the way I saw things, expressed things, made sense of the world”. Tan’s love for her mother is so great, that she admits that her mother is the most crucial influence in her life and she views the world through the lens of this love. Tan’s love for her mother makes her resent the depiction of her mother’s English as “broken” or “fractured” and she vehemently defends her mother’s speech. To her, it is beautifully whole: “vivid, direct, full of observation and imagery”. She hits back at those who find her mother’s English incomprehensible by asserting that “my mother’s English is perfectly clear, perfectly natural”. She points out that her mother is eminently capable of understanding the finer nuances of English, from stockbroker reports to Shirley McClain’s bestsellers. Tan’s love for her mother’s language is but an extension of her love for her mother. Her mother’s language is a symbol of her mother as it reflects “her intent, her passion, her imagery, the rhythms of her speech and the nature of her thoughts”. Her mother’s English is the expression of her beloved parent and is treasured as such by Tan. Tan’s acceptance and defense of her mother’s language is a sign of her affection for her mother.Tan’s different languages demonstrate her search for identity.

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