September 26, 2013
America: A Land of Opportunities
America was given a wonderful compliment from the London Times Literary Supplement in 1954 that read, “Nowhere in the modern world is there a more rewarding literature than that which America has to offer." I feel that the works of Amy Tan and Betty Shamieh are perfect examples of American writers from foreign descent struggling to find success by being true to who they are and their family’s ethnicity. Mother Tongue by Amy Tan and Censoring Myself by Betty Shamieh capture a bias in character. A popular bias, is race and how you are treated because of how you look, family traditions, and how one speaks. I researched both these women to get a better understanding of their thoughts and feelings that led to these essays.
Amy Tan was born in Oakland, California in 1952 to parents who immigrated from China. Her Father was a Baptist preacher and her mother was from an upperclass family in Shanghai, China. Amy Tan attended Linfield College in Oregon, San Jose City College, San Jose State University, the University of California at Santa Cruz and at Berkley. Her career began as a language development consultant and as a corporate freelance writer and wrote fiction and attended jazz piano lessons to rid herself of her workaholic tendencies. This hobby of writing fiction led to her first novel, The Joy Luck Club in 1989. This story explored the relationship
between Chinese women and their Chinese American daughters. (a) Amy Tan’s upbringing is vastly different from Betty Shamieh who is of Palestinian descent. Betty Shamieh was born in San Francisco, California and she holds degrees from both Harvard University and the Yale School of Drama. Betty Shamieh is an American playwright, author, screenwriter, and actor. She has written fifteen plays.(b) Her parents were Palestinian immigrants. Amy Tan and Betty Shamieh were both raised in homes that were bilingual.
Amy Tan’s mother spoke imperfect english in...