I liked this story because I connected with Jing-mei at first and felt sorry for her. However, half way through the story, I began to feel sad for the mother after Jing-mei began behaving selfishly and defiantly by not trying. As short as the story was, it created a momentary emotional struggle for me. At first I could not understand why the mother would force a child into extracurricular activities of which she had no interest. I thought perhaps the mother, given Amy Tan's real mother's tragic history, was living vicariously through her daughter. Later, as a mother of three daughters, I began to see why the mother was trying to convince her child to do something great. It was because she wanted her daughter to be no less than perfect. The story did not change my perspective on mother-daughter relationships because all mothers raising daughters have unique coming-of-age stories. I did stop and reflect upon my own mother and my childhood with her as we had our growing pains. I was adopted and my mother was very much like Amy Tans trying to make every perfect. Tan writes brilliantly with passion and I am a newly committed fan. I would not change a thing in this story.
I started a second novel seven times and I had to throw them away. You know, 100 pages here, 200 pages there, and I’d say, “Is this what they liked in The Joy Luck Club? Is this the style, is this the story? No, I must write something completely different. I must write no Chinese characters to prove that I’m multi-talented.” Or “No, I must write this way in a very erudite way to show I have a way to use big words.” It’s both rebellion and conformity that attack you with success. It took me a long time to get over that, and just finally being able to breathe again and say, “What’s important? Why are you a writer? Why did you write that book in the first place? What did you learn? What did you discover? What was the most rewarding part of that?” Don’t think of what’s going to happen afterwards. If it’s a failure, will you think what you wrote was a failure, that the whole time was wasted? If it’s a success, will you think the words are more valuable? That crisis helped me to define what was important for me. It started off with family. It started off with knowing myself, with knowing the things I wanted as a constant in my life: trust, love, kindness, a sense of appreciation, gratitude. I didn’t want to become cynical. I didn’t want to become a suspicious person. Those were the things that helped me decide what I was going to write.
In her essay, "Mother Tongue," Amy Tan shares her discoveries about the different variations of English she learned growing up in an Asian-American household, and then reflects on these findings. Amidst the essay, Tan shows the reader that racial profiling still exists, even in a time where every person is promised freedom and equality. Not only does the profiling exist and occur, but it is also done incorrectly and inefficiently, as Tan clearly demonstrates it by surpassing any test that suggested she study medicine or engineering. In this essay it is noticeable that all the evidence used to support Tan's arguments are past experiences she had as a child growing up, speaking what is considered "broken" English .
Several times throughout the essay, Tan makes references to how the English she learned is considered "broken or fractured, and it was only because sentences she formulated were not fluid like everyone else's" (Tan 35). Tan then tries to reach out to her audience by connecting with many non-United States citizens who grew up with the same type of vocabulary she did; this broken English (Tan 35). By doing so, she reveals the fact that even if it is not scholarly-like English, using the most appropriate prepositions and phrases, the idea is still understood. Many families in the United States have long meaningful conversations by means of this so-called "limited English, however they still manage to understand each other perfectly because that is how they learned the language in their own household" (Tan 36). The reason Tan refers to this topic is because she wants to open the eyes of people that are born into a household where English is the first, and usually, only language spoken. By doing so, she could actually show the native English speakers how limited and structured their own language actually is.
As Amy Tan mentions at the very beginning of the paper, she is "not a scholar, however she is quite intellectua...