How to Tame a Wild Tongue SRR

Summary:

How to Tame a Wild Tongue is a fascinating piece by writer Gloria Anzaldua in which she analyzes the social and cultural differences between  Mexican culture and American culture and how immigrants fall in between.  Not only does she explore this but she also delves into topics such as racism, and sexism. She is trying to tell the audience that it shouldn’t be looked down upon to speak another language. Acculturation is another theme in the piece, where she explores the idea that people should be able to construct their own identity when immigrating to another country. They shouldn’t have to give up their sense of self and their culture and language in order to feel like they can be successful in their new life. Anzaldua believes their heritage has to be abandoned in order to be accepted in America. The author uses anecdotes and really credits her work with her experience. Her anecdotes also appeal to people’s emotions, making people understand that this type of oppression is emotionally painful.  She feels as if she can’t “accept the legitimacy” of herself until she accepts her languages.  She just wants her audience to respect her Chicano Spanish and feel like they can embrace and respect their own language and culture.

Response:

I agree with Anzaldua’s ideas for the most part. I believe that America’s diversity is what makes this country so great. I think everyone should retain a sense of identity and who they are and what their cultures are like and bring that where they go. However, I also believe that English should be able to be spoken fluently for the most part if you are going to become a citizen or work here. So some of the things she says, I don’t really agree with. However, I think that is because she is so passionate about this topic and feels as though she has been oppressed. I think her call to action to her audience though is very inspiring. The way she tells people that embracing who you are is okay and that you can retain that sense of self and culture and heritage and still be successful.

Reflection:

This writing has influenced me as a writer in the sense that it makes me think more about my audience and how i can make sure its appealing to everyone. Because even though she was talking about one specific group of people and language, it affects everyone in a way and everyone can work to understand what she is talking about. I will try and do the same in my writing, by trying to make it relatable to everyone.

59 thoughts on “How to Tame a Wild Tongue SRR

  1. I totally disagree with your comment that people should have to speak English fluently. That is not your call to make, especially because the US has no official language. You don’t need to assimilate. You are contradicting your statements and being ethnocentric.

    • You totally disagree? We might not have an official language but this country was founded upon that language. Every document that guarantees your right to free speech is written in that language. I am an immigrant who doesn’t speak English fully 100%, but I will try my best to do it because this language gives me the opportunities of a lifetime. The English-speaking countries are the only ones with absolute freedom of speech. Have some respect for the basic principles that founded this nation.

    • You’re right that you don’t need to assimilate at all. However, economically everyone has to be able to communicate effectively so contracts like employment and lease agreements are understood by both parties. Either that means everyone needs to learn every language that anyone else might know in America, or everyone needs to agree on central language/s. Outside of that, people should be able to communicate without prejudice.

  2. I agree with Faatihah. You do not have to speak English fluently. What makes America so diverse is the diversity itself. The diversity in languages, cultures, ways of living. So there is no distinct way of speaking or living in order to survive in this world. It may make it easier in some situations, but it’s not exactly a necessity.

  3. I disagree with the comments because people who live in the U.S. speak English as the common tongue so not being able to speak English is a huge setback for getting jobs and becoming successful. I completely agree that people should retain their culture and diversity because it is special to every individual and should not be taken away. However, buying into the belief that people in the U.S. shouldn’t learn English sets limitations on how successful a person can be.

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