Amy Tan’s book Mother Tongue is about the importance of language and identity. Amy Tan was born to Chinese immigrants who came to America in the 1950s. Her mother’s first language was Chinese, and she did not learn English until she came to America. As a result, Amy Tan grew up speaking both Chinese and English.
The book explores the theme of identity through the lens of language. Amy Tan writes about her own experiences growing up with a Chinese mother and an American father. She also writes about the challenges her mother faced in trying to learn English. Through her writing, Amy Tan shows how important it is to understand and appreciate different cultures and languages.
The book is a great example of how language can shape our identity. Amy Tan’s mother tongue is Chinese, but she has also been heavily influenced by the English language. As a result, her identity is a mix of both Chinese and American cultures. This book is a great read for anyone who is interested in exploring the theme of identity.
There are more and more multilingual individuals in the world today, and they must utilize different languages to communicate with one another. Language enables people to recall their own customs and contribute to their own heritage.
Amy Tan, in her book “Mother Tongue”, Amy insists that language does not only affect our day-to-day lives but it is also an important aspect that determines our identity. Amy claims that the language we use subconsciously reflects who we are as people. In other words, Amy argues that language can shape our identity.
Amy grew up in a household where English was not the primary language. Her mother spoke ” broken” English, which Amy describes as having “limited grammar and pronunciation” (Tan, 3).
Despite this, Amy’s mother was able to effectively communicate her thoughts and emotions through her use of English. Amy writes that her mother’s English had “a musical quality”, which she believes is reflective of her mother’s creative and expressive nature (Tan, 3). Amy argues that our use of language is reflective of our inner thoughts and feelings.
While Amy’s mother was able to effectively communicate her thoughts and emotions, she faced many challenges in her day-to-day life as a result of her broken English. Amy recounts an incident in which her mother was insulted by a sales clerk who assumed she was unintelligent because of the way she spoke. This incident caused Amy to realize the importance of language in shaping people’s perceptions of others. Amy argues that the way we speak can have a profound impact on the way we are perceived by others.
Amy’s experiences with language have shaped her own identity. She writes that she has come to embrace her “broken” English and see it as a reflection of her own unique identity. Amy argues that language is an important aspect of our identity. We should not be ashamed of the way we speak, but should instead embrace it as a reflection of who we are.
In “Mother Tongue,” a short tale by Amy Tan, she strongly recounts her various experiences and life comprehension based on the numerous varieties of English she speaks throughout her life. Amy explores the significance and power of language while walking through two different languages: “the way it can evoke an emotion, a visual image, a complex idea, or a simple truth” (Tan 38).
Amy’s mother tongue is not Standard English; Amy and her mother share the same language which Amy describes as “broken” English. Amy’s father speaks perfect English, but Amy cannot speak like him because she has different thoughts in her head that she cannot express in his language. Amy also encounters other types of English such as “fluent English,” “pidgin English,” and “limited-English proficient” (Tan 41). Each type of language has its own purpose, and Amy uses them all for different reasons.
Amy Tan was born in 1952 in Oakland, California to Chinese immigrants. Her family came from Taishan, a coastal village in southeastern China. They originally spoke Toisanese, a dialect from Taishan, but Amy and her siblings were born in America and only learned Toisanese from their grandparents.
Amy’s parents wanted their children to speak perfect English so they would have opportunities in America that they never had. Amy’s father was very strict about correct grammar and often corrected Amy and her sisters when they spoke “broken” English. As a result, Amy felt she could not express herself fully to her father because she could not find the words in “perfect” English.
Amy went to school in Berkeley, California where she was one of the few Asian students. She felt like an outsider at school and at home because she could not relate to her classmates or her father. Amy was teased at school for her “broken” English and she felt ashamed of her mother’s language.
However, Amy also realizes the power of her mother tongue; she can express herself in a way that is authentic and true to her own experiences. Amy’s mother tongue is a vehicle for her identity; it is how she understands the world and how she expresses herself.
While Amy Tan may not have been comfortable with all the different types of English she spoke, she ultimately found power in her mother tongue. The language she shared with her mother allowed Amy to express herself in a way that was unique and authentic. It is through this language that Amy Tan found her own voice and identity.
Language is the instrument that holds the awesome power of words; it has a powerful impact on people’s lives, personalities, and lifestyles. Furthermore, language acts as a “transmission” of information between individuals. However, Amy’s ideas about mother’s language are shifting from guilt to pride as she feels the consequences of using two distinct varieties of English with their corresponding symbols in her head.
Amy Tan, the author of “Mother Tongue” very well presents the theme of identity by sharing her own experiences of growing up in a family where English was not the first language. Amy’s views towards her mother tongue have changed dramatically throughout her childhood, teenage years and into adulthood.
Amy’s shame of her mother’s English has turned into pride, as she has realized the power that two different types of English can have. Amy’s story is a great example of how language can shape our identity and how our view of language can change over time.
Amy sees “simple,” “broken” (Tan 42) English as signifying family to her. Amy’s heart language is “broken English,” no matter whether it is correct or incorrect; it has become our language of intimacy, a special sort of English that relates to family conversation. The consequence status of “broken English” is revealed in “intimacy,” “family talk.” Amy’s mama also speaks “broken English,” which Amy refers to as being”filled with unfinished sentences and grammatical mistakes.”
Amy claims that her mother’s way of speaking is a result of her having “limited exposure to the English language.” Amy says, “It was my first introduction to the idea that there could be a different kind of English from the one I spoke at home—that there was such a thing as Standard English” (Tan 38). In spite of the fact that Amy goes to great lengths to point out how her mother does not speak the same English as she does, Amy also notes how her mother’s use of language has shaped her own.
Amy says, “Because of my mother, I tend to think of English as a musical instrument with great possibilities for making all kinds of sounds” (Tan 41). Amy’s appreciation for the flexibility of the English language is due in part to her exposure to her mother’s way of speaking. In other words, Amy has come to see Standard English and broken English as two different but equally valid ways of using the language.