In Amy Tans essay Mother Tongue, the Author portrays her experiences as a child of Chinese parents
growing up in an American culture. Amy Tan constructs a view showing the reader the vast differences
between language at home and language in public. She explains some of these languages through
instances with her own mother. Amy Tan for example is on the phone with her mother’s stock broker
pretending to be her mother, and her mother is telling Amy Tan what to say, but the way her mother is
saying it makes little to no sense until Amy Tan tells the stock broker and makes it a little more
Americanized, so it is better understood by the stock broker.
Amy Tan often explains her mothers english as “broken” or “fractured” and is often feels
embarrassed by this because she feels it shows lack of quality and perhaps a lack of education.
Amy Tan conveys that her mothers English had a limiting effect on her life. She argues that
language spoken in the home played a much larger role in shaping her English then perhaps
peer influence would have. This being said she reveals that this effected achievement tests, IQ
tests, and SAT scores.
Amy Tan implies that people in her culture where often pushed into the academic areas of
Math and Sciences due to the judgment made on the assessment of the skills they might have in English.
Amy Tan always inspired to be a writer even against all the stereotypical implications put on her culture
as a group. Amy Tan discusses in later years her concerns about why there is not more Asian-
Americans enrolled in creative writing classes, and why there are so many enrolled in engineering. In
1985 Amy Tan began writing fiction in what she thought to be cleverly crafted sentences, but it turned
out to be something even she could barely pronounce. Amy Tan decided later that she would write
something “easy to read”, something everyone could read. She accomplished this by writing using all...