Thursday, September 15, 2011

Michaela Dempsey's Blog #3

     "Mother Tongue" by Amy Tan is a great example of open prose. In class, we described open prose as loose, a narrative, and a story instead of a thesis. Tan wrote about her mother's language in a way that informs people of the language barrier that her mother deals with and the prejudices that she faces because of it through stories and examples rather than just discussing the issue in an essay form. In her introduction, Tan says, "I cannot give you much more than personal opinions on the English language and its variations in this country or others" (Tan 113). From the beginning, Tan is avoiding a thesis and instead telling the reader that she will be using her own experiences to discuss her mother's language.
    Tan is trying to speak to "proper" English speaking Americans. She writes using language that would be considered scholarly. This language appeals to higher educated Americans. These are the people that are often taking Tan's mother's language as a sign that she is not very intelligent. If she is trying to change the perceptions of her mother, these are the people that she should be trying to convince.
     I don't think that this is essay conforms to the genre conventions of an essay. Essays are typically structured, have a clear thesis, and don't have as many personal stories in them. While Tan does have structure and a thesis, it is definitely not in the conventional way. Her thesis is never stated, but inferred from the text.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with your last paragraph that the essay doesn't form any genre conventions because it isn't structured in any way.