Thursday, September 15, 2011

Maura Weir Amy Tan

Maura Weir Amy Tan "Mother Tongue"

     In the essay "Mother Tongue" by Amy Tan I believe that she uses open form prose. If she was using closed form prose it would follow a strict pattern. Amy allows us to imagine what is going on. She paints us a picture of what is going on and how she feels. The use of open prose is evident when she is describing the scene where Amy has to pretend she is her mother while talking to the stock broker. Amy gives examples of how her mother would say things, and then how Amy actually said them. For example "My mother...whispering loudly "why dont he send me check, already two weeks late. So mad he lie to me, loosing me money." And then I would say in perfect language, "yes I'm getting rather concerned you had agreed to send the check two weeks ago but it hasn't arrived."(Tan 115). She also shares her personal experience when she is talking about how her friends heard the way her mother talked. For example "Yet some of my friends tell me they understand 50 percent of what my mother says. Some say they understand 80 to 90 percent. Some say the understand none of it, as if she were speaking pure Chinese"(Tan 114).
     I believe this essay is written for people like us. We are going through changes right now, like she was. When she is talking its like she is trying to relate to people her age. If she was talking to a younger group she would use a simpliar way to state things. If she was talking to an older group of people she would use less examples. She tries to put things in a perspective of an adolescent.
     I believe this essay conforms with the genre conventions of an essay because Amy Tan presents personal experiences and paints us a picure of what is actually going on. She gives examples of what she is trying to say to make the image more clear.


  1. I agree that she is writing to people like us, college students. That is what i said also, because it made me feel like we still have learning to do that will make the biggest impact on our lives as it did hers.

  2. I really like the examples she includes--they're complete eye-openers about the struggles a lot of people have to go through.

  3. Didn't think about how she could be relating it to people like us, good thought. Interesting.

  4. I, too, said that it appealed to people our age. I feel like the language she uses really intrigues students our age instead of an older age group. I'm glad we all agree!