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Mother Tongue Questions and Answers
What argument is Tan making here about language and its connection to our identity in "Mother Tongue"? What strategies does she use to make this argument? What motivates her to make such an argument?
Who is the intended audience for "Mother Tongue"?
In Amy Tan's short story "Mother Tongue," explain the essence of what "mother tongue" signifies in the story.
What is Amy Tan’s primary identity according to what she says in paragraphs 1-3 of "Mother Tongue"?
Explain the meaning of Tan’s title and how it relates to her own identity as both a Chinese American, a daughter, and a writer. Cite the text as needed to clarify and support your response.
What organizational pattern does Tan use in "Mother Tongue," and how does she control her tone?
How did Tan’s teachers identify her when she was in high school? On what were these descriptions and perceptions based according to paragraphs 15-16 of "Mother Tongue"?
Describe how others (those who do not know her intimately) see Tan's mother versus how Tan describes her in "Mother Tongue." Include details from the text.
Explain the title for "Mother Tongue."
What is the context of “Mother Tongue”? What is the author's purpose, style, and tone in the story?
Explain why Tan calls herself a rebel in "Mother Tongue" and how this identity led to her becoming a writer.
What does “different Englishes” mean?
At one point, Tan writes about being embarrassed about her mother. Discuss how and why parents’ identities and personalities are often a source of embarrassment or tension when people are young. Illustrate your observations with examples from Tan's essay, your own experience, or others you know.
In "Mother Tongue," Amy Tan uses people's inclination to assume as a way of exploring the subject of identity. Find examples of people—including Tan herself—treating her mother disrespectfully. What assumptions are people making about Tan's mother in these situations and why?
I am doing an assignment about the essay "Mother Tongue," but I am having a hard time understanding the claim of the author and the target audience. I came up with the idea that the author's claim is that one's use of language does not indicate their amount of knowledge or worth, but I am not sure if I am thinking of the right answer.
Discuss the way stereotypes or bias affect how we see ourselves and others. Include in your discussion examples and observations from your own experience or Amy Tan’s “Mother Tongue.”
In "Mother Tongue," Amy Tan explains that she uses multiple "Englishes" in her daily life. What is your response to Amy Tan's point about the value of different languages?
This question is about the essay "Mother Tongue" by Amy Tan. Even though the focus of the essay is the author's experiences with languages and her mother's influence on her writing, an underlying theme of the essay is the identity of a first-generation American. Like other children of immigrants to America, the perceptions of her language abilities almost limited her career path in math or science, yet Tan eventually realized her own American Dream of becoming a full-time writer. What is similar between Tan's more contemporary version of the American Dream and the novel Of Mice and Men? How do they differ?
How could I go about writing four pages about the essay "Mother Tongue" by Amy Tan, citing two or more different authors to support my claims?
Although Amy Tan was born in the United States, her writing is shaped to a great degree by the immigrant experience. Discuss how this is present in her writing of "Mother Tongue."