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Kate McMillan Assignment 4 Engl 250

Kate McMillan Assignment 4 Engl 250

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Published by: katemcm722 on Apr 30, 2011
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Kate McMillan3/8/11English 250 LPRhetorical Analysis of Mother Tongue by Amy TanIn her essay Mother Tongue,
Amy Tan tries to give a more positive view on non-native Englishspeakers; shedoes this by being personable, connecting to her audience, and by using herself and hermother as examples.
Tan has definitely found a way to write this essay so people can relate to her andwhat she is saying. The fact that readers are able to feel at ease and comfortable with her allowsthemto have an overall positive attitude towards the idea she is promoting. I myself feel more open-mindedabout people who may not speak perfect English after reading her essay.Tan uses a lot of specific examples to help her make her point. One thing she does is use anexcerpt of a conversation she had with her mother on videotape and later transcribed. This shows whatshe means by broken English and gives the reader a reference.The excerpt included a lot of shortfragmented sentences such as Mean gives lots of respect. Chinese custom. Chinese social life that way.If too important wont have to stay too long. When reading this I could think of plenty of times I hadheard people talk like this. The factthat the authors mother doesnt speak the way Americans speakwould cause many to initially have a negative opinion towards her.However, when reading this excerptin the context of the essay, I was able to realize that Tans mother did indeed know what she was tryingto say and was in fact relaying her story very clearly. The authors use of specific examples is verybeneficial because not only does it make the point in the story, it gives the reader a reference that theycan apply to their daily lives.T
he author wrote her essay as though she were telling a story.The fact that it sounds as thoughAmy Tan is in fact in front of you and relaying the story to you gives it a very personal feel. This isespecially important because in the essay she is discussing a rather touchy subject, many peopledisapprove of people who live in the United States and cant speak our language.It was very beneficialfor her to write in this manner because the reader will feel like they are having more of a conversationrather than just reading an article telling them to be more accepting.This idea that it is more of aconversation is helpful because the audience wont realize that they are being persuaded and will bemore likely to be open to the ideas she is suggesting.Another really important thing the author does is use her mother asan example. She does thismany times and does it in a way that pulls at the heart strings of the reader. Tan uses different examplesof how her mother is often disrespected and treated poorly because of the way she speaks. Oneexample she uses is of her mother going to the hospital to receive the results of aCAT scan. In the storythe hospital had lost her mothers CAT scan and was being unsympathetic about the situation. This wasan especially offensive since it was a big concern for her;she had lost both her husband and son to braintumors. The mother then called her daughter, Amy Tan,to speak with the doctor who immediatelyapologized for any suffering the mistake may have caused andensured that the scan would be foundand
Comment [_1]:
Your title should saysomething about the focus of your rhetorical analysis
Comment [_2]:
You make some good pointsabout why she does this, but dont do quiteenough to support your argument that shedoes this.
the situation fixed in a timely manner. This story shows how hard it can be for people who are perceivedto be inferior or incompetent just because they dont speak perfect English.The author also talks about how the English language has developed different meanings for herover time. She mentions that when she was younger she was embarrassed by her mothers brokenEnglish and how people treated her mother when she spoke this way. The author also talks about howin school she struggled with standardized tests in English saying theywere more of a judgment callthen a clear cut answer such as math and science. Although she had a hard time with Englishthroughout her life she declared it as a major in college, in a state of rebellion, and began her writingcareer. She initially used her writing to construct wittily crafted sentences, but later decided byenvisioning a reader her writing would be more successful. The reader she chose toenvision was hermother.This idea of envisioning a reader is definitely beneficial to all writers and Im sure she did thesame thing when writing this essay. In writing nothing should be on accident and professional writersare especially conscious of this. Everything has a purpose from the type of vocabulary used to style,writing in first, second, or third person. The author hopes to convey their message or story in the bestway possible and they do this by finding how they can best connect to their audience.I believe Amy Tan wrote a very successful essay. She was able to be personable by writing asthough she was having a conversation with her audience. She connected with her audience through thisconversation as well as sharing personal experiences.These two things help to encourage theaudience to be open-minded and receptive to her ideas. Finally I believe she gave her readers a verytrue view of what its like to be bilingual in America which makes it much easier to change opinions andstereotypes one might have about non-native English speakers.
Evaluation Criteria: Grading Rubric
Categories: Exemplary, Mature, Competent, Developing, Undeveloped

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