Mother Tongue by Amy Tan Review

Paper Type:  Article review
Pages:  3
Wordcount:  617 Words
Date:  2022-03-29

PART A: The Strong, Weak and Hard Lines in 'Mother Tongue.'

The strong lines are lines which bears the crucial information. In the article 'Apart from what any critic had to say about my writing, I knew I had succeeded where it counted when my mother finished reading my book and gave me her verdict: "So easy to read"' (Tan, pg.261). This shows that Tan had started to appreciate the value of the mother tongue and also her mother who was not conversant with English.

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The hard lines are lines which the reader disagrees with and are usually hard to comprehend. For example, 'But I don't think that the language spoken in the family, especially in immigrant families which are more insular, plays a large role in shaping the language of the child.' (Tan, pg.261). This is a difficult line for the reader to understand.

The weak lines can be defined as supporting lines. The weak lines normally alienated from the main idea of the context. In Tan's article 'I was ashamed of her English. I believed that her English reflected the quality of what she had to say.' (Tan, pg.261). This aids Tan's introductory sentence on the view he had on her mother.

PART B: The outline of the essay.

Introduction - Where he speaks of her mother English language which is not understandable.

Body - Tan shows the several instances that her mother is exposed to situations where she ought to talk, for example, the answering of the phone call from the Boss, the hospital appointment where she seeks to how the husband and son had a brain tumor.

Conclusion - The survey conducted on why Americans are not much involved in the American Literature (Tan, pg.261).

PART C: Summary of the essay

In the article "Mother Tongue" Tan shows how her mother had difficulties in speaking fluent English. Tan describes her language as 'broken' or fractured English. Amy mentions that he was ashamed of his mother and had a cynical perceptive on her as she spoke since he believed from the abundance of the mind she speaks. Tan reports that in some of the instance, Amy used to help in answering essential calls, for example, the call from the Boss to her mother. Most friends did not understand partly on what her mother was saying as he writes. Tan claims her mother had a significant impact on his performance in English since he argues that peers influence the developing language skills. A survey conducted shows that not many Americans were connected close to the American Literature, and Asians were better in mathematics. Some of these were attributed by the teachers making more emphasis on math compared to writing. Tan finally starts to write on different topics and directs them to his mother who in turn appreciates and reads all through (Tan, pg.261).

Amy Tan thinks of her mother language as broken and which is simple. In some instance, Tan views it as incomprehensible since the friends do not understand. Tan's feelings are seen where he is even ashamed of the mother. Moreover, Tan's mother speaks the way she does because of the influence of her Chinese background. She does not speak fluently after all those years since she had no interest in reading until when Tan started to write to her. People arrogantly treat Tan's mother since they perceive what she speaks is what is in her mind. People think that because she cannot speak in 'good' English she has got nothing to offer to them.

Cited Works

Tan, Amy. "Mother Tongue, by Amy Tan." The World Is a Text: The Writing, Reading, and Thinking about Culture and Its Contexts (2005): 261

Cite this page

Mother Tongue by Amy Tan Review. (2022, Mar 29). Retrieved from

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