Amy Tan’s Perception of Language

A difficult part about becoming accustomed to another way of life when moving to a different country also includes learning the language of the country. Also how well you learn it and how you speak it. In Mother Tongue the author uses the Ethos, Pathos, and Logos persuasion methods to pull the reader into her claims. She also seems to get into a very defensive tone. She also uses this tone to persuade the readers. Through these different strategies she explains that the language barriers have limited success and prosperity levels to non-english speaking residents.

Using logic and emotion, the author can more easily show her true feelings to the reader and reach out on a more personal level to persuade the reader. In the story she says to leave one’s homeland and come into another’s alone is difficult. When she left she had different expectations for when she got her. Things like happiness, wealth, and new opportunities were expected upon leaving. Only to be disappointed by realizing that they are being profiled for their ethnicity and also their native language. The author discusses her own experience with her mother in the U.S. She also states that her friends can barely understand what her mother is saying. They describe it as if she is speaking an entire different language. But, to the author her own mother would sound perfectly normal because they come from the same background. By telling how she has to go through the troubles of her friends not being able to understand her mother this leads the audience to further understand the title of the story, Mother Tongue

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When Tanr’s mother had a CAT scan done at a hospital to further evaluate her the hospital didnt seem to care about getting her results back to her because they thought she might just go away. And when the doctor finally caller her daughter, me, who spoke perfect English and behold we had assurances the CAT scan would be found, promises that a conference call on monday be held, and apologies for any suffering my mother had gone through for a most regrettable mistake (Tan) As you can see the uses emotion to persuade the reader by talking about an upsetting experience where her mothers lack of speaking the English language. If Tanr’s mother would not have had Tan to speak the proper English her sickness could potentially get worse with time. This shows the pathos method by making the audience feel sympathy for Tanr’s mother.

Tan also tries to use different tones in the passage to express her main idea. This also keeps the reader interested. If she would have kept the same tone throughout the entire reading the readers would start to lose interest. If she would have kept the same humor about the situation that she had at the beginning of the passage, the audience would not take her as serious. They would also get bored quickly with the passage and not want to continue reading. Changing tones throughout a passage is a common, highly effective, strategy used by many writers today. Tan also stated that she felt ashamed of her motherr’s limited English. Tan states I know this for a fact, because when I was growing up, My motherr’s limited English limited my perception of her. I was ashamed of her English. I believed that her English reflected the quality of what she had to say As her argument continues, Tan starts to become apologetic, this shows the reader that she found it difficult to look past her the language barrier her mother had been trapped behind.

As you can see, Tan successfully persuaded the reader to look at the discrimination showed to immigrants that are not as fluent in the native language in whatever country it may be. She also teaches the reader to be more considerate of others. Tan succeeds in doing this by using the Ethos, Pathos, and Logos persuasion methods. These methods also help Tan express her thoughts thoroughly. She also makes the reader feel the pain that the non-English speaking immigrants feel when they are treated different for not being fluent in a second language. To conclude, Amy Tan successfully persuaded the reader to overlook the language barriers that keep the non-English speaking immigrants of this country and all over the world from living with peace and happiness in their everyday lives.

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