The article by Amy Tan

Amy Tan’s article sheds light on the difficulties faced by immigrants seeking to communicate in English as a second language (Tan 1). The author captures the perspectives of immigrants and how language becomes a source of social stigma as well as an outlet of injustice in America. Tan, it could be argued, should not shy away from disclosing the heartbreaking complexities of attempting to reconcile with the fact that language does not always correspond to a person’s ideas. She recounts her life and that of her mother where she alludes on the failure of the native English speakers to understand the challenges that Asians, and perhaps other immigrants, face in the states. Arguably, appeal to emotions as well as ethics is ineffective in demonstrating the encounters of immigrants because it exaggerates how language extends beyond communication and becomes a tool of racist separation.
The author seeks sympathy in her article where she wants to demonstrate how her native Chinese language influences the sematic and syntactic structure in English (Tan 1). Apparently, the writer demonstrates how the sentence variation in English and Chinese languages differs and how the same leads to miscommunication with English speakers. She illustrates with examples how the words used by Chinese speakers, with clear examples from her mother, makes the sentences in English look “broken” as she puts it. In the article, Tan starts by declaring herself as a writer fascinated with language and goes ahead to explain how she conducts talks in English. Even though her English is fluent and understood by many listeners, she takes note of the challenges that other non-writers like her mother face. She extends her feeling of shame of seeing Chinese struggle with English to show the unique aspect of racism.
Remarkably, the writer explains that she developed consciousness on the language she uses on her own (Tan 1). She even develops guilt that she used the wrong English during a talk. But because she does not suffer any ridicule or misunderstanding with her audience, the writer goes ahead to show how others get ignored because of poor grammar. Observably, her mother becomes the subject in which she wants to excite emotions by suggesting that the readers will believe her. Hence, she traces the tribulations that her mother faces where she gets ignored or dismissed while seeking services from steals and other premises. By extension, Tan argues that the marginalization in America starts from the language itself. Nobody takes you serious if you are directly translating from your language into English.
It seems that the writer is obsessed with the language and how it works and wants to exaggerate the encounters (Tan 1). She admits that she takes concern with the language that her mother uses. Arguably, being a writer, she has to concentrate on how language use. However, her assumption that the language is divisive sounds exaggerated. The use of a single example makes it hard to believe what the writer is communicating since there could be other reasons why her mother was getting ignored. For example, she says that while she was speaking to the an authority about a cheque, her mother kept interfering by lashing out words that she feared might be heard on the other side of the telephone. What does this indicate? It is apparent that her mother is also impatient and with that trait, those who should serve her end up being unable to cope with her.
Additionally, Tan mentions of a case in hospital where her mother was dismissed. According to her, he mother was unable to explain, in correct English, about the mystery of the missing CT scan document. However, when the writer called the hospital and explained that she can find the scan, her mother receives the attention she needed. Observably, the mother feels ignored not because of the English she speaks but her display of unwillingness to cooperate with the medics. The positive response in the hospital is not because of language as the writer wants the readers to believe. Rather, it is due to the fact that Tan promised that she can get the document required by the doctors. Hence, the argument used by Tan is not persuasive but rather misleading.
At the same time, the introduction of the love of math and science by Chinese is used as an excuse by the writer (Tan 2). She wants to divert the attention that the lack of competency in language comprehension is based on the arbitrariness of the language. Question emerges as to how she ends up being good in the language. Apparently, she admits that language fascinates her and thus due to the interest, she does better than her mother. The examples in English that she gives are selectively meant to show the complexity of English language rather than how language itself works in communication. However, the writer seems to forget that even science uses language as a tool of command, meaning that everyone should learn to master it.
Notably, the writer targets Americans as well as immigrants where she wants to drive across her message of inequality in the host country. Targeting the educated society, and preferably the native English speakers, Tan shows that the immigrants may not be able to communicate well but indicates that the same should not be a reason for the visitors to feel ignored. As it appears, the author accuses the native English speakers of using the superiority in the language to undermine others. The author is angry towards the native speakers of English whom she feels have used language to dismissive them and make them feel like aliens. For example, she is angry when her mother’s cheque is delayed until she has to pursue the matter herself. At the same time, her anger is apparent when she has to talk to the medics regarding her mother’s medical condition.
In conclusion, Tan makes unfair accusations against the native speakers of English. As a writer, she wants to exaggerate the experiences of the immigrants while ignoring the fact that the immigrants may have contributed to their own fate of marginalization. The appeal to ethics makes sense especially due to the historical nature of racism in America. However, the writer should understand that there can be other forces beyond matters of language that the immigrants should understand. When she uses a single example of her mother, Tan makes the discussion lack the seriousness it should deserve. The appeal to emotions where she wants the readers to consider and pity the situation of her mother does not substantiate the matter of exclusion but rather raises false feeling of concern. Hence, the appeal to ethics and emotions that Tan has used has failed to evoke a serious discussion on the subject of language and marginalization in America.

Works Cited
Tan, Amy. “Mother Tongue”

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