Analysis of Mother Tongue by Amy Tan

Updated September 19, 2021

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Analysis of Mother Tongue by Amy Tan essay

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Mother tongue carries a large range of beautiful denotations. It means the language of nation, an idiomatic image teemed with emotions and love to the nation and homeland. The other meaning also illuminates indirectly that language should be learnt in childhood like feeding with mother milk. This will shape the language and make someone fluent and confident in speaking, so that it is impossible to forget it. Acquiring a mother tongue needs an authentic input by listening for adequate time, to able to make language output by speaking.

The input/output principle is ignored by some language schools and that’s why they produce average learners of weak fluency. This environment is available in childhood where the child is surrounded by language all the time from infancy till near adolescence. This pretty process like a computer’s hard drive: if uploaded with data, you can retrievel them back. Tan has made an attractive conclusion on language’s power after she has had experience in writing for long time. She feels that language can work through: visual images, simple ideas, simple truth and the way it can evoke an emotion.

Tan has the opinion that language skills are influenced by peers and probably stated that directly in paragraph 15 where she spoke about immigrant families who are isolated, or insular as she expressed, speak limited or broken English contaminated by their mother accent. For instance, Chinese people speak English as if they speak Chinese language, and similary for the other races, like Arabs and Indians. As per Urban dictionary,( broken English ) means incorrect or awkwardly structured English usually spoken or written by non-native speakers, sometimes considered a pidgin, not necessarily pejorative simply, imperfectly spoken, as by a foreigner. Broken English, does not always reflect that meaning, it is sometimes used purposely.

Among the Maori in New Zealand, the younger proficient generation, intentionally made modifications to the language to assert their own sense of culture identify. However, poets have also used broken English intentionally to create desired artistic impression or imploration. William Shakespeare used broken English to convey the national pride of Scottish and Irish alliance in the king’s invasion of Normanday. He also implored to the French princess Katherine, to marry him using broken English. Peer learning is a kind of pedagogics, an educational practice in which students interact with other students and correct each other. John Dewey wrote,’ Education is not an affair of telling and being told but an active and constructive process ‘. He believes that sciences and knowledge are learnt by experience not by rote. Lev. Vygotsky showed coincident ideas with J. Dewey.

The narration of the story was descriptive of events in a logic and convincing way. I starts with a picture showing the difference between slang and standard English, explaining the difficulties the foreigners face in speaking and understanding. She made in accepted solution for learning English. Tan has ended her essay by talking about impressive success she got after a long period of failure. Tan was shy to say her mother’s English is broken or fractured and was also not happy with the term ( limited English ) – I wince when I say that! We should not ignore the value of dialogue. It is the key to make us understand each other. Furthermore, dialogue facilitates the fluency of langue. People who do not practice the language, do not learn it, like happening with isolated persons. We prefer to keep the term( broken English ) for people who do not master the grammar like in this sentence( school not go I am small ). ( Limited English ) term is best preserved for people who are poor in vocabularies. Both aspects are a mirror of failure or stupidity. Therefore, tan was winced to say that about her mother.

In fact, tan did not state directly that language should be simple. Probably she intended to say that any language should be simple at home and standard when you give an academic lecture or special talk for specific audience. Simple English does not mean broken English. It is an art and needs a long time to establish it, as exactly the case of tan who has become a famous writer, after passing the basic stage of learning, being adequately senior to write simple grammatical English understood by public even her mother who finally said her verdict: ‘ so easy to read ‘. Shakespeare, the inventor of the human as the critic Harold Blood mentioned in 1998, made English language more expressive and colorful. He invented a huge number of new words by emerging existing words with other words from other language. Moreover, he memorized the grammars, and was away from using extinct words or vestigial terms. Look and enjoy his easy simple English: ‘light seeking light’ – ‘fight fire with fire’ – ‘nothing comes from nothing’ – ‘all that glitters is not gold’.

In paragraphs (10, 11, 12, 13, 14), Tan introduced two humorous anecdotes. The first one was when her mother asked her( tan ) to make a telephone guise to take to the stock broker. The second story, when Daisy( Tan’s mother ) went to hospital. I think Tan wants to show the weakness of her mother’s English and how much she is embarrassed, about her Chinese- spoken English. The picture was amazing especially when people got astonished when they came to know the real Mrs Tan. Humor use in writing is attractive, it reduces boring and makes the story more interesting, but this use is not always easy.

The writer should have developed experience and skills over long time. William Coles has explained the principals of humor use in stories’ literature. He wrote, ‘ Humors please readers, develop characters into memorable and useful entities, sustain attention, generate interest in the story and help create images in reader’s mind. Also, he highlighted the dangers of humor in fiction, like, Irony, demonstration of stupidity or vices which offend the reader and exaggeration of the comic effect.

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Analysis of Mother Tongue by Amy Tan. (2021, Sep 19). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/analysis-of-mother-tongue-by-amy-tan/


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