The mother, because she could not speak

The main kind of detail Amy Tan uses in her essay is the different kinds of English she uses, and also how her English and how she says things aloud is different from that of her mother’s. One major detail that I found interesting was when she talked about how she called her mother’s stockbroker and pretended to be her mother, because she could not speak English well.

She listened to her mom’s broken English and translated it to the stockbroker, and even had to get mad at this person for her mother. Another detail that I found compelling was when Amy was talking in front of the group of people, explaining her writing and elaborating on it. She then noticed her mother was there and could not help to think that she was talking differently. This was when she realized that she spoke different kinds of English- and that there are probably many more people that have this same situation. The opening sets up my expectations to question her experience of speaking English, and her credibility. Also, it makes you think that she is putting herself down, and makes me think there are some confidence issues. I think she did this, to show that English can be opinionated, because there are many ways to speak it- maybe not in the correct way.

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She also did that to probably connect with her readers on a more personal level. She divides English into about four categories: “Simple English,” “Broken English,” “Watered Down English,” and “Perfect English.” These divisions are important to Amy Tan because they make her who she is. They also define how she speaks in certain settings. As a writer, she uses this to her advantage. The broken, perfect, watered down, and simple English allows her to connect with a broader audience and allows her to be real with them too. Writing for an academic audience causes Amy to write more professionally, because the expectations of her writing are going to be higher. Also, the audience would have a better understanding, because of their higher education.

I think she believes her audience speaks all kinds of English, because she writes most of her books and essays with the intention of everyone being able to read and understand what she is saying. “Fortunately, for reasons I won’t get into today, I later decided I should envision a reader for the stories I should write. And the reader I decided upon was. my mother, because these were stories about mothers.” “Apart from what any critic had to say about my writing, I knew I had succeeded where it counted when my mother finished reading my book and gave me her verdict: So easy to read.”


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