Mother’s Tongue Summary


Rhetoric and Comp.


February 9, 2004


Amy Tan’s essay “mother’s tongue” is about the different ways people speak and how it will vary around people and from person to person. She talks mainly about her mother’s speech and how some people may view it as “broken” or “partial English”. She writes about how when she hears her mother’s speech she is able to understand it and does not notice that it is broken or maybe be hard to understand. She explains how people treat her mother different, with less respect than they would a person who can speak better English. She also goes on to write about how she used different types of speech around people. She uses a more formal speech when she is talking in front of people and a less intellectual sounding type of speech around people she feels more comfortable around. Ultimately she has gone one to use all types of speech in her writing and believes that it makes her a better write and she is able to express her ideas better than she would if she only used one type of speech.