Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tan's Background of English

Amy Tan is focusing on the different ways to use the English language and how we use it differently depending on who we are communicating with. There are many things to focus on throughout her writing. One being if it's open or closed prose, who's the audience and genre conventions. The kind of prose she was using is open; I came up with this because her thesis is exactly what she follows throughout the rest of her essay. One of Tan's statements were "I cannot give you much more than personal opinions on the English language and its variations in this country or others" (Tan 113). She follows this throughout the rest the essay by relating back to how she talks with her family and how she thinks about what kind of English to use at the time. While talking with her mother she caught herself saying "not waste money that way"(Tan 113). As you can see she relates back to the different variations of English. Another thing to focus on is who's the audience? In this it's us (as in the reader). Because she used personal pronouns as in "you". For example she says "you'll have some idea of what this family talk I heard sounds like.." (Tan 113). Finally, the genre conventions of the essay. Tan doesn't use this because she has seperate paragraphs at the beginning and the end that talk about the same things. At the beginning she is talking about how she communicates in English with her mother. For example while walking down the street she says "I was conscious of the kind of English I was using with her (as in her mother)" (Tan 113). A few pages later she then says a similar sentence "lately, i've been giving more thought to the kind of English my mother and I speak" (Tan 114).

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