Amy Tan, the author of “Mother Tongue,” gives the audience a new outlook and better understanding of the struggles that every immigrant who lives in United States had gone through every day.
Amy Tan gives the audience the positive view on the “broken” English speakers by using herself and her mother as an example. Her mother did not get respect from the hospital and also the stockbroker due to her limited use of English. In contrast, Amy Tan was treated very well because of speaking proper English.This shows that there is discrimination between people who peak proper English and people who do not. Further, Amy Tan points out that although her mother speaking is not fluent, her comprehension is really good. The author argues that people should not Judge the others (especially immigrants) based on their spoken language successfully because she uses most of rhetorical appeals pathos, ethos, and logos to show that language is not a credible indicator in measuring individual’s competency.
The article’s intended audience includes Amy Tan’s mother, immigrants, and fluent English speakers.The author believes that anguage likes an invisible wall that prevents her mother from getting respect from the others. “The fact that people in department stores, at banks, and at restaurants did not take her seriously, did not give her good service, pretended not to understand her, or even acted as if they did not hear her”(765). This is how the others treat the author’s mother as well as non-native English speakers. Therefore, Amy Tan understands that there are a lot of immigrants who have been like her mother: being disregarded due to limited use of English.In addition, Amy Tan’s main point of the rticle is letting the audience know that the way of speaking language cannot reflect someone’s competency. The second point the author tries to say that language is not just language itself; it is about culture, background, and heritage.
Through the story, Amy Tan conveys an appeal of emotion to the readers by sharing her story supported with many personal instances. Pathos is demonstrated through the depiction of the struggle of her mother. Amy Tan said that stockbroker had taken advantage on her mother by not sending the check on time (765).
This example makes the audience ore related to her family issue and feels a sense of sorry for whatever happened to the author’s mother. Due to limited use of English, people don’t take the author’s mother seriously and treat her mother so unfair. Further, Amy Tan uses emotionally charged pathos appeal to help her make her point. She uses her mother as an example of how her mother is often treated poorly because of the way she speaks English.
The author shows the audience how patience her mother was when she really concerned about her CAT scan result (765).This quote is pathos because it ontains anger and sympathetic. The anger the author feels when the people at the hospital don’t respect her mother for losing the result and also the anger of the audience feels towards the ignorant people. Along with the pathos appeals, Amy Tan states her credibility by saying, “l am a writer. And by that definition, I am someone who has always loved language” (763). This quote is ethos and it shows that the author has experience on language skills and writing.
This makes her story is more worthy and trustable.At the end of the story, Amy Tan shows that she has successful he myth that steering every Asian/ Asian American students away from writing and into math and science (767). Amy Tan has passion with language; she has explored a powerful world on her mother use of English.
When she was a child, she was ashamed of her mother “broken” language. Once Amy grows up, she is proud of her mother and culture. Amy says that her mother “imperfect” language gives her a “full of observation and imagery'(764) and that was the language that helped shape the way she saw things, expressed things, made sense of the world (764).
The author elieves mother language plays a role in creating the way of deep thinking and imagination. As of a result, the author argues that language ability tests can never reveal: intent, passion, imagery, the rhythms of speech and the nature of thoughts that her mother has (768). Amy Tan uses of logos to state that language itself can’t be spoken or understood in a certain form, but it’s prevalent among every culture and racism. Unlike Math, English is not precise and exactly how it is written. Finally, Amy Tan successfully gives herself and the audience a proud of upbringing as an Asian/Asian- American by using logical reasons in these quotes. The author argues that everyone was born in different culture and speaks their mother language; and English is a second language that every immigrant has to speak to understand and handle daily situations in United State. Therefore, speaking English fluently or not can’t be a problem for others to categorize people.
“Broken” English speakers in this freedom country deserved to be treated equally and respectfully. Tan, Amy. “Mother Tongue. ” Everythings an Arguments with readings. Ed. Andrea A. Lunsford.
Boston: Bedford/St Martins, 2012. 763-768. print.