Dhruvi PatelMs. Michele PreziosoENG-101-AL-14February 26, 2018Mother Tongue- AMY TANAccording to the definition of writer, the writer is the one who loves language and as a writer Amy Tan, wrote “Mother tongue”, which was first delivered as a talk in San Francisco in 1989. She argues that how the variation in English language differs in this country and in others. Tan started to build her credibility with her personal experience and emotional appeals. In this whole argument she talks about all the aspects of using English language and towards the end of the article, she convinced the audience that how she succeeded in her work just by a single verdict by her mother.
Tan started her article by remembering her talk to a large group of people about her book, The Joy Luck Club. That was a usual talk for her, but it became unusual as soon as she noticed her mother. It was the first time she was delivering a speech in front of her mother and that too using a kind of English, which she had never used with her. She was delivering the speech with the correct sense of grammar. “The interaction of memory upon imagination” and “There was an aspect of her fiction that relates thus-and-thus”, these are the sentences which clearly shows that she has the proper command on language.Once, while talking about the price of new and old furniture, Tan said that “Not waste money that way”, and by saying this sentence she realized, she is using a different sort of language which is improper but it relates to the family talk, though she is using the same kind of English for more than twenty years. She also addresses that how her mother’s English is reflecting the Chinese assent.
Her mother reads the book which is very hard to understand for her. According to Tan, the way she saw things and expressed the things is just because of her mother’s English which was perfectly natural for her because it was her mother’s tongue. The English, which her mother was speaking was described as “broken” or “fractured” English by her. One can also say it as a “limited English”. There were two incidents happened with Tan, when she was fifteen. As soon as Tan’s mother realized the limitation of her English, she asked Tan to call people and pretend to be her. The first incident happened when Tan talked to a stock broker as Mrs.
Tan her mother and she perfectly questioned and replied the stockbroker with proper English. The second incident happened when Tan’s mother went to hospital to pick her CAT scan, which was lost by the hospital. She had an argument with the people around there and as soon as they called her daughter Tan, who speaks clear English, Tan talked to them and after her talk they apologized and assured that they would found the CAT scan.
The limited English was limiting the possibilities of Tan’s life. Though the language skills are influenced by peers, she never thinks that the language used in the immigrant families, which is not a genuine English, influenced in shaping their child’s language. Tan was good in Math as compared to English. The reason for her of not doing good in English were the teachers who starred the Asian-American students from writing. Tan was rebellious by nature and because of that she enjoyed the challenges and disproving assumptions made about her.
As a result of all the struggle, hard work and dedication she began to write fiction and gained the mastery over English language. There is a sentence from her first draft of The Joy Luck Club, which says that “That was my mental quandary in its nascent state”, without this sentence the draft might not made its way to heights. Whatever the critics said about Tan’s writing, she knew that she had succeeded when her mother finished reading the book written by her daughterTan and gave her verdict that it was “So easy to read”.