In the essay, the author has sown three rhetorical appeals. First, she created ethos by structuring credibility at the essays beginning by saying I am a writer. And a definition, I am someone who has always loved language. I am fascinated by language in daily life. I spend a great deal of time thinking about the power of language. Basing on the fact that her story focuses on her real life as an immigrants daughter, she also created pathos. This is because of the stories that she tells in the story, about her mother and how other people treated her because of her inability to speak English that is considered fluent and not broken. It makes one think that people take advantage of those who are not like them. She also generates logo by vividly explaining that the English her mother spoke was a limiting factor as it led to her being treated differently.
Tan also uses metaphors in describing how her mother and the other people of other cultural backgrounds those are different, speak. A good example of a metaphor she uses is Lately, Ive been giving more thought to the kind of English my mother speaks. Like others, I have described it to people as broken or fractured English. But I wince when I say that. It has always bothered me that I can think of no other way to describe it other than broken as if it were damaged and needed to be fixed, as if it lacked a certain wholeness and soundness. By the use of metaphors like that, it helps in making the piece very effective. Tan stylistically masters the figurative language such as imagery, irony, metaphor and comparison to broaden the essays retention.
Conclusively, the set of direct quotes, style, humor and storytelling teaches the audience set by Tan a very vital lesson on the different ways in which others can talk and even be able to interpret situations. People are not supposed to be differently treated because of how their English is broken but rather be understood and looked on as an easy way of their talking. The authors purpose of the story was to teach the readers the passion, imagery, intent, nature and rhythm of the thoughts of other people. The perspective of people towards English that may be broken should change because they might be very intelligent but the only problem is their language, which to them is another language which is foreign to them, that they have to learn apart from their own language.
Dong, Lan. 2009. Reading Amy Tan. Santa Barbara, Calif: Greenwood Press.
Rosinsky, Natalie M. 2006. Amy Tan: author and storyteller. Minneapolis, Minn: Compass Point Books.
Tan, Amy. 2008. Mother Tongue. New York: McGraw-Hill
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