Thursday, September 15, 2011

Brian Walborn Homework #4

The essay "Mother Tongue" by Amy Tan contained what I believe to be both open and closed prose forms. The reason I believe she uses a somewhat open prose approach toward the essay is because the essay doesn't seem to have much structure. Tan sort of just expresses her thoughts in the order she recollects them, without much "set" structure. Also, Tan speaks using "I" and "me" which are some aspects of a narrative, which is open form. I also did find some evidence of closed form as well. She followed a specific order of her stories. Kind of putting them in order from how they related back to the original point which was basically that you usually begin to speak how the people you are raised around speak. Although the target audience for this essay isn't extremely clear, I believe the audience could be people who have been influenced by their mothers. Tan states how she never realized it before, but when she was in the presence of her mom she always caught herself becoming aware of the English she was using. "Just last week, I was walking down the street with my mother, and I again found myself conscious of the English I was using" (Tan 113). I think this particular story does indeed have the qualities of the essay genre. The reason I believe this is because she is telling the story from her point of view. Aldus Huxley was quoted saying an essay is "a literary device for saying almost everything about almost anything, usually on a certain topic." In this essay the certain topic is that people tend to follow after the people they are around as a child.

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