Ms. Frey – Writing 115
Reader Response 5
October 27, 2009
As a writer, the language is the creative tool, the way they are using the language is very necessary for their job. In the essay “Mother Tongue,” Amy Tan tells about how language influenced her life while growing up. As she was wondering in her essay, “Why are there few Asian Americans enrolled in creative writing programs? Why do so many Chinese students go into engineering?” (165). I try to figure out the answer of this question, maybe it is easy for Chinese students to study about business which give them more benefits than other major. Understand exactly the meaning of English; I think it’s hard for Asian Americans since English is not their first language. From that moment, Tan started not only to focus her study into English but also began to write. Finally, she found her style. I admire her efforts to her writing; I think she must have been spent a lot of time for practicing to get her best result.
Even though this essay shows many of her mother's limited English, Amy Tan never forgets to express her admiration for her mother who gives her a potential lesson about language. She says, "But to me, my mother's English is perfectly clear, perfectly natural. It's my mother tongue. Her language, as I hear it, is vivid, direct, full of observation and imagery. That was the language that helped shape the way I saw things, expressed things, made sense of the world" (162). I like the way she describes her mother’s broken English, because she believes that her mother is a very important woman in her life. In addition, she wants to show the beautiful side of her mother that people cannot see. “I wanted to capture what language ability tests can never reveal: her intent, her passion, her imagery, the rhythms of her speech, and the nature of her thoughts” (166). From this quotation, Tan wants to send us a powerful message that we should observation people by their beautiful side, not by