PART 1: Outline
P 1: The author defines how she is not an expert in the English language although she tries to draw a picture in the mind of the readers as to what her essay is going to be about.
P 2: She introduces how she perceives language and how she uses it every day.
P 3: She points out how her English might be different from others especially when she talks with family members like her mother and her husband.
P 4: She gives an example on how the English language she uses with her family appears to be an intimate connection that they share making it an English format only they can understand.
P 5: Tan further provides a more concrete example on how her mother utilizes their supposed ‘personal’ family-pattern of the English language through relating a story.
P 6: She points out that her mother, although she can understand written English in a much higher level, there are instances when she cannot actually speak English as well as she reads.
P 7: She describes her mother’s language to be broken or fractured English.
P 8: Tan describes how the language limitation coming from her mother affected her perception of language overall, including her professional career.
P 9: She relates how the limitation of her mother’s language actually caused her to take over some of the conversations that was needed to be completed especially in relation to business.
P 10: She continues her story as she defines the reactions of her mother in frustration of the fact that she is not well-understood by the person she is transacting with.
P 11: This part indicates the translations she makes as she talks to the person in the phone for her mother’s sake.
P 12: She relates how the actual conversation with the person turned out to be and how her mother’s frustrations actually pointed out that she was not the one talking during the first conversation.
P 13: She relates another instance by which she stands for her mother as her speaker because of the limited language command she has towards English.
P 14: She points out how her mother’s language use influenced her and limited her capacity to pass English exams which specifically limited her professional opportunities.
P 15: She compares how logical subjects different from language subjects; and how she excels more on logical subjects since they simply require rational understanding which she is good at.
P 16: She gives an example on how language could be rational too but has a less defined concept of the matter because of its complexity in relation to semantics.
P 18: She points out how steering off from language subjects have limited non-English speaking students towards mastering subjects and courses in math and other logical options.
P 19: Although she enjoyed the challenge of taking on a new path towards realizing her capacity to understand language, she knew that when it comes to attaining something in life, she needed to be realistic, causing her to steer away from attaining a professional mark under umbrella of language-dependent professions.
P 20: She points out how her frustrations led her to aiming to impress her readers later on through using complex words that even she did not understand.
P 21: She gives a distinct description as to how her understanding of both English and Chinese characterizes most of her writing works that works well at present to provide distinct message both to English and non-English speakers.
P 22: She recognizes the fact that even though there were critics who told her she would not succeed, she knew she was able to go far and was able to provide the message she wants to send her readers.
PART 2: Discussion and Narrative
How to Deal with Stereotyping and Prejudice
Stereotyping in the modern society is rampant; at some point, it can be considered unavoidable especially for those hoping to embrace new lives in foreign nations that they opt to live in. Like Amy Tan, I have also been able to realize the truth behind stereotyping and the personal impact it has on the way I viewed myself and my capacities in surviving a new life in the country. I came from Croatia, and being a mother of four, my life was not that easy especially in considering the process of completely fitting in the community where I live in. Although I am not saying that the human environment I had to deal with was hostile, I do believe that there are instances when I hope they could be more behaved and better defined in the way they treat others who came from another country. Unlike Amy Tan, I do speak English in a fluent manner since it is my first language; in a way, this is the reason why I can say that speech and language did not become my primary enemy as I tried to thrive in the United States.
It was more of the culture that I have been judged with. My features and my supposed background are often used against me when people at work intend to irritate me. Perhaps they get satisfaction from such action and treatment of someone not coming from their own race, nevertheless, I do not see the real worth of such attitude especially in relation to how they behave themselves and represent the real worth of being an American. I do understand though that at times, some of the people who engage in such hostile treatment against me are merely doing it for personal fun; while they may not have any intention of hurting me, I still do feel that it would be better if they would just stand off and examine whether or not what they are doing is actually funny.
Some, among my workmates make fun of my accent. Although I have already been used to it, some of them become out of control that they could actually hurt my feelings. Sadly, these issues are not addressed fully in most establishments. Considering that these actions are mere representation of an individual’s need to face the challenges of being different, some individuals, like me, intend to just let things pass without addressing them as somewhat important for us. Living through everyday bashing and lashing of particularly insulting words [which some may interpret as mere joke] is not easy. Being judged for one’s color and language is specifically uncivilized. Nevertheless, at times, these very challenges are the ones that make a person tough, allowing one to reach the dreams he may have established for him to fulfill. Like Amy Tan, instead of using diversity and being discriminated by others as a hindrance towards growth, it could be used as a stepping stone towards strengthening one’s self and becoming a better person who is able to rise to the challenge of stereotyping.