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The Silence Of A Lesson Learned

             Judging the character of a person because of their ability to speak is a mistake everyone is guilty of. Even Amy Tan, the author of Mother Tongue changed the way she perceived her mother as a result of harsh attitudes others displayed against her. Tan knew her mother could express herself very well in her native tongue, but was ashamed of her translation of it. Although, she saw her mother's intelligence, she let the bias reaction of others make her ashamed.
             Tan falls prey to the prejudicial attitudes around her for many reasons. The first is for acceptance. Tan feels that her mother's English is a bad reflection upon her. In order for her to be accepted by her peers she has to "fit in" and be respected by them. She accomplishes this by disassociating herself from her mother. Her mother holds a trait that Tan does not want to be known for, broken English. So by giving in to the views others hold, that broken English makes a person unintelligent, she has acceptance from others and they look beyond her mother's English, because she by holding their viewpoint has not made her mother an issue. Another reason for Tan's tainted perception of her mother is because she wants to make an image for herself and become as different from her as possible. She has the privilege of being a first generation American and wants to live that dream to the fullest. In order to do that she tries to drop anything that associates her with her "ol!.
             d" culture, and become fully American. This involves her looking down upon her mother because she still carries a very heavy Chinese accent that is part of Tan's Chinese heritage. But by losing respect for her mother she ends up losing a big part of her as well.
             I, for a long time was ashamed of my grandfather's speaking, but not because he had broken English but because he is deaf. This results in many limitations of his speech. For the people that don't understand sign language he has to speak aloud to them in order to do simple things like ask a store clerk a question.

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