Amy Tans Essay

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Category: Literature

Date Submitted: 09/16/2012 08:40 PM

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Amy Tan, a Chinese American writer, writes a short dialogue called “Mother Tongue” (1989) arguing that no two people speak the same English. She develops this by using tone, fallacious logic, and appeals. She wants her audience to see this in order to show how people are treated who aren’t considered normal to society. Her audience is everyone who has been treated differently due to them not being normal.

Amy Tan’s tone throughout her speech is typical of any speech that is trying to invoke persuasion, due that it starts sympathetically and uses appeals to emotion to capture the audience, then towards the end uses her life experiences to inspire herself as well as her audience. By doing this she captivates her audience and makes them believe in her. This attitude the writer takes with the audience lets her engage about her life experiences and keeps the readers interested. She first explains her tone in the first sentence stating that she is “not a scholar of English or literature.” This immediately lets the readers know that is not going to be an ordinary story. This tone creates sympathy for Tan as she seems to be apologizing for not being well schooled in English literature.

Her position introduces her argument that no two people speak the same English. She here is speaking out against the stereotype that people take on foreigners who have trouble completely grasping the English language, for people that think clearly and completely but cannot express it in the English language. This leads people to believe that foreigners who can’t speak English in a clear concise manner are either unintelligent or lack understanding of American culture. This stereotype lets people to try and take advantage of foreigners which all succeeds most of the time. Amy Tan clearly shows an example of this where her mother, who’s English isn’t perfect, goes to the hospital to find out the results of her CAT scan. When the doctors tell her it was lost and have to comeback another time...