My initial response to the essay is that I relate and the piece is about how her mom speaks. As I read on I became annoyed and upset with how people treated her mother because of the way she spoke. Early on the essay suggests that Amy’s mom speaks a different language. When I talk to grandparents or my mother I feel like I have to simplify everything for them.
They don’t understand the things that I do or have the patience to learn. I also can’t talk about certain things with some family like I can with friends or other parts of my family. My dad is very articulate and intelligent but, my mom was put in special needs classes throughout school so she has a more difficult time.
My grandparents were born in an earlier generation where different slang and ways of speaking were used. I didn’t like that people pretended to not hear or understand her mother when she talked, I find that very unfair. Some people can be hard to understand at times but, that doesn’t give reason to assume they are incapable or damaged. I also disliked that she said she was “ashamed of her mother’s english” and that it caused others to not take her seriously and think that what she said and thought wasn’t perfect because her english wasn’t perfect. I did like that she talked about how others affected how she talked and perceived her mother as well as how her mother influenced her writing.
All the stories she writes about are about are mothers and she discusses how she wants to demonstrate what language can’t reveal about a person. Imagery, passion, intent, rhythm or speech, and nature of thought can’t be captured merely by language and the way a person speaks. Preliminary conclusions I can draw from Amy Tan’s essay is the essay is all about her mother, how her mother speaks, and how her mother has influenced her. Preliminary conclusions I can draw for my discourse community project are that I’ll be focusing less on the language of the community and more on what the community is about and involved in.