Mother Tongue By Amy Tan Essay

1215 Words Aug 3rd, 2015 5 Pages
Amy Tan “Mother Tongue”: exploring how an author’s life experiences may have inspired or affected his or her written work
Like her previous novels, Amy Tan 's short story titled, "Mother Tongue," reflects her life as an individual. As a matter of fact, it is believed that the novel that looks at the substance of language as a communication tool was inspired by Amy Tan’s her own background, particularly, Chinese language that her mum grew up speaking, and later learnt to use English as a second language. She perceives her mother’s English as having been broken. In the novel, she notes her mother spoke English in a manner that contrasted “American English." This is however not reflected in her mother’s spoken English. Notably, her mother reads the Forbes Magazine and listens to the Wall Street Week reflecting a highly knowledgeable person that contrast the one with broken English that Amy projects. However, it must be noted that Tan emphasizes language as a communication tool rather than as a representation of knowledge (Cleghorn 11). She talks about a time when she was talking about her writings and life, only to realize that her mother was listening. At this point, she shifts focus to reflecting on the English that she used in communicating with her mother.
In most of the book, Tan effects on how “fractured” her mother’s command of English was and as a result the challenges and negative experiences that her mother had to undergo. In her writing, she refers to the…

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