Summary: In “How to Tame a Wild Tongue”, Gloria Anzaldua exposes her feelings about social and cultural difficulties that Mexican immigrants face when being raised in the United States. She establishes comparisons among English, Spanish and their variations and how cultural imperialism influence on people’s “preference” to speak one language rather than the other. She brings to debate important social problems such as sexism, cultural imperialism, racism, low self-esteem, reprimand, and identity construction. She begins the article with a metaphor comparing culture change to something that is violent and cruel. Anazaldua tries to show both side of the story, Angelo’s side and the Hispanic’s side. The side of Angelo is more about adapting to the culture change as fast as possible. But the Hispanic’s side is more to succeed in life and to pursue the “American dream”. Anazaldua mostly talk about how “Chicano Spanish” should be speaking freely. Also, to be its own language that people are willing to respect it.
Response: One of the article’s strengths is clearly stated by the author when she qualifies the culture change as violent. She uses the term “linguistic terrorism” and explains how the First Amendment is violated, when an individual has his form of expression attacked with intend of censure. Another interesting point is the view of languages as subjective and passive of changes that go beyond new grammatical rules. Those changes incorporate social and cultural factors. In addition, there is an intriguing questioning on whether identity construction is a social input and to what extent individuals have control upon their own identity formation. Mexican-American children or Chicanos, would be ashamed of their origins and of speaking Spanish since they were physically and psychologically punished at school for speaking Spanish in the classroom. Cultural imperialism promoted a stereotyped and stigmatized Mexican population: passiveness and low intellectual aptitude resulted in thousands of students dropping out of school.
The text impacted me as a writer that I should connect my personal experience to a broader connection to the audiences. Also, I would like to use more rhetorical way of expressing my thoughts and ideas to the audiences. The way that rhetorical way can contribute to my writing is to create a specific and detail experience that is going to pull in the audience in an effective way. Anzaldua writing style are very effective on how she describing “Chicano Spanish”. As the audience, I can really see how she interrupts her thoughts on “Chicano Spanish” in a very nice way. It is very inspiring to other people who can connect on the same path as Anzaldua.