Type: Rhetorical Essays
Sample donated: Donna Jimenez
Last updated: July 23, 2019
Not all people whose English as a second language speak it in the same way. This argument made by Amy Tan throughout in the story “Mother Tongue”. In the essay, she successfully expresses all three of rhetorical styles such as logos, ethos, and pathos. Tan also balances each part of the rhetorical triangle very effective and thoughtful essay. First, the author uses logos and reasoning in her essay.
An example is when she explains how her mom would have her call to ask for information, and people in, banks, restaurants , and department stores would not take her mother seriously. The essay might well be aimed at people who got to take care of their parents as if they are exchanging roles with parents. At a young age, Amy Tan had to handle situations. She was the middle person between her mom and another people who had no ideas what her mom says. Because Tan’s mother expressed words in an imperfect, Amy Tan stated that her thoughts were also imperfect either. As a person who lives in dual language, Tan argued that a person’s limitation on language does not reflect their perspective on society or events of the world. Secondly, the author uses ethos to present the idea that social expectations should not negatively influence one’s perception. She thinks the standardized tests are not able to accurately determine a person’s intelligence.
It is unfair because there are many different type of intelligence people and people have different ways of thinking. As Tan was growing up, her speech and what she was taught from her family affected her life. In the story, she describes the relationship between her and mother, who speaks “broken” English. Furthermore, family environment affected her results at school. Many other Asians in the U.S are also have suffered the similar problem, and have teachers “who are steering them away from writing and into math and science”. Overall, Amy Tan wants to say that just because someone cannot speak English perfectly, it does not mean in anyways else would make them less intelligent than other people who are born in this country, who understand and speak English fluently.
It is like a quote “We are like a snowflake, all different in our own beautiful way.” We all have similarities but our differences help define us. However, the author’s mother was judged by her language.
She also saw her mother was disrespected because of her incorrect grammar and wrong use of words. Through the “Mother Tongue”, the author wants to send a powerful message of how we ought to view people by their beautiful side and not by their shortcomings. There is a quote ” We are like a snowflake, all different in our own beautiful way. Everyone has a message to say, it may be different from yours, and it might be grammatically incorrect but it does not make the message wrong. Finally, Tan uses pathos to appeal to readers’ emotions. An example is when she notifies to readers about her mother’s tumor.
The hospital did not apologize when they said they had lost the CT scan. They also did not seem to have any sympathy when she was anxious to know the exact diagnosis. Because of the neglect and little care the hospital had for Tan’s mom, and if she hadn’t had anyone to call and speak for her, the sickness would potentially progress and no one would know about it. In conclusion, through the different rhetorical strategies, Amy Tan successfully explains the language barrier in the U.S have limited success and prosperity levels for non-English speakers.
Proper communication skills are vital for thoughts, emotions, and ideas otherwise one might be perceived wrongfully.