Different English Subject of Cultural Identity. Creative Writing Essay (Essay Sample)
Should be about four paragraphs in length, including an introduction and conclusions
1. What qualities make a writer's voice forceful, distinctive, and memorable?
2. Discuss the perspective of the speaker in the poem. Does "Theme for English B" speak to us as one person, a very specific person at a very specific time? Is the speaker feeling powerless? Why and how?
3. Does Amy Tan’s essay, “Mother Tongue,” show how challenging it can be if an individual is raised by a parent who speaks “limited English” as Tan’s mother does, or does it show how non-standard accents can result in people being judged poorly by others?
4. In America, are people’s perceptions of one another based largely on the way they use the English language?
5. Do these “different Englishes,” or even a language other than English, contribute to a person s identity and make it a crucial issue? Do we assume different identities for our interactions with different
Mother Tongue by Amy Tan
I am not a scholar of English or literature. 1 cannot give you much more than personal opinions on the English language and its variations in this country or others. 1 am a writer. And by that definition, 1 ant someone who has always loved language, i am fascinated by language in daily life. 1 spend a great deal of my time
thinking about the power of language - the way it can evoke an emotion, a visual image, a complex idea, or a simple truth. Language is the tool of my trade.
And I use them all — all the Englishes 1 grew up with.
Recently, 1 was made keenly aware of the different Englishes I do use. 1 was giving a talk to a large group of people, the same talk I had already given to half a dozen other groups. The nature of the talk was about my wiiting, my life, anil my book, I he Joy 1 uck Club. Phe talk was going along well enough, until 1 lemembeied one major difference that made the whole talk sound wrong. My mother was in the room And it
„ ^ the ,h,i time she w ^ me gtve a lengthy speech, using ,he Kind of English , have neve, used wilh her. I was saying .hings like, "The intersection of memory upon traagmation ' and here ,s an aspcc o mv fiction that relates to .hns-and-thus'-a speeeh tilled with carefully wrought grammatical phrases, nr one , i, suddenly seemed to me, with nominalized forms, past perfect tenses, conditional phrases, all the forms oi standard English that I had learned in school and through books, the forms of English 1 did not use at home with
Just last week, I was walking down the street with my mother, and I again found myself conscious of the English I was using, the English 1 do use with her. We were talking about the price of new and used furniture and I heard myself saying this: "Not waste money that way." My husband was with us as well, and he didn t notice any switch in my English. And then I realized why. It's because over the twenty years w>e ve been together I've often used that same kind of English with him, and sometimes he even uses it writh me. It has become our language of intimacy, a different sort of English that relates to family talk, the language I grew' upwith.So you'll have some idea of what this family talk I heard sounds like, I'l 1 quote what my mother saidduring a recent conversation which I videotaped and then transcribed. During this conversation, my mother was talking about a political gangster in Shanghai who had the same last name as her family's, Du, and how the gangster in his early years wanted to be adopted by her family, which was rich by comparison. Later, the gangster became more powerful, far richer than my mother's family, and one day showed up at my mother's wedding to pay his respects. Here's what she said in part: "Du Yusong having business like fruit stand. Like off the street kind. He is Du like Du Zong - but not Tsung-ming Island people. The local people call putong. the river east side, he belong to that side local people. That man want to ask Du Zong father take him in like become own family. Du Zong father wasn't look down on him, but didn't take seriously, until that man big like become a mafia. Now important person, very hard to inviting him. Chinese way, came only to show respect, don't stay for dinner. Respect for making big celebration, he shows up. Mean gives lots of respect. Chinese custom. Chinese social life that way. If too important won't have to stay too long. He come to my wedding. 1 didn't see, I heard it. I gone to boy's side, they have YMCA dinner. Chinese age I was nineteen."
You should know that my mother's expressive command of English belies how much she actually understands. She reads the Forbes report, listens to Wall Street Week, converses daily with her stockbroker, reads all of Shirley MacLaine's books with ease-all kinds of things I can't begin to understand. Yet some of my friends tell me they understand 50 percent of what my mother says. Some say they understand 80 to 90 percent. Some say they understand none of it, as if she were speaking pure Chinese. But to me, my mother's
English is perfectly clear, perfectly natural. It's my mother tongue. Her language, as 1 hear it. is vivid, direct, full of observation and imagery. That was the language that helped shape the way 1 saw things, expressed things, made sense of the world.
Subject and Section
January 10, 2019
Language has always been an essential aspect of our daily lives. It helps us to converse and impart the things that we want to say, as well as receive feedback from others. In turn, this whole cycle of giving and taking, lets us learn from others. However, language has also another function. It allows us to exhibit our own cultural identity towards others, through different tools such as semantics, word choice, and accent among others. In this article, the relationship between language and cultural identity will be explored. Specifically, it would feature how the essays of Tan and Hughes have identified the relationship between the two concepts. All in all, the author believes that while language is beneficial for us as it allows us to express our thoughts, ideas, and emotions, it also could also act as a means of repression when subjected to societal expectations.
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