Analysis Of Amy Tan’s And James Baldwin’s Works Sample Paper

Bismillah hir-Rahman nir-Raheem.

Rhetorical Analysis: Amy Tan’s Mother Tongue” vs. James Baldwin’s “If Black English Isn’t a Language, Then Tell Me, What Is?”

In this essay, I have compared the rhetorical analysis of Amy Tan’s Mother Tongue” with James Baldwin’s “If Black English Isn’t a Language, Then Tell Me, What Is?”

In her essay Mother Tongue,” Amy Tan explores the use of English by her mother, who spoke what she called “broken English.” Tan’s mother was Chinese and learned English as a second language without formal instruction. She used English out of necessity while living in the United States. Tan emphasizes that she also used various forms of “Englishes” throughout her life. She learned proper grammar in school with native speakers, but at home, she communicated with her family using a more informal and non-standard form of English.

James Baldwin once said, If black English isn’t a language, then tell me, what is?” The author emphasizes that Black people have a unique way of speaking, but it is still English. Baldwin strongly argues that Black English should not be dismissed as not being English at all.

In this essay, Amy’s ethos and pathos are clearly defined. Her ethos appeals to the proper use of the English language with correct grammar. Additionally, she uses language with an appropriate voice while considering her audience.

Baldwin’s use of language and vocabulary is impeccable, adjusting according to his audience. He presents a fair-minded argument about the importance and history of Black English. In his essay, ethos clearly defines that Black English must not be ridiculed for what it is now. This phenomenon occurs in all countries where people belonging to different cultures and tribes have different ways of speaking and different languages, even if they belong to one nation and one language.

When Amy speaks to her audience, she is sincere in both what she says and how she says it. She uses simple and easy-to-understand language.

Baldwin’s use of vocabulary is not simplistic, as he employs complex words and phrases. However, his mastery of the English language is evident as one reads through his passages. Initially, Baldwin provides a clear definition of language and its role in communication. Language serves to characterize an individual and describe the narrator; however, with Black English, individuals do not wish to be defined by their speech patterns nor accept this distinct form of language because it fails to recognize their identity.

Language unquestionably reveals the speaker. However, language is also meant to define the other, and in this case, the other refuses to be defined by a language that has never been able to recognize them.” (If Black English)

Amy’s mother tongue essay is characterized by clear and comprehensible expression. She does not evade the reader or use difficult words or hidden ideas. Instead, her writing is very clear and easy to understand. In her own words, she writes:

I later decided that I should envision a reader for the stories I would write. The reader I ultimately chose was my mother. The English that I spoke to her could be described as ‘simple’ due to my limited vocabulary at the time.

Baldwin uses complex sentences in his essay to convey that he is a well-educated and knowledgeable man. His intended audience for this essay was all Americans, especially Whites, to provide them with a better understanding of where Black English originated. Baldwin discusses how African slaves were brought to the United States chained together and unable to communicate with each other due to the lack of a common language at that time. Language evolves out of necessity for communication among people. Baldwin also points out the importance of being cautious when speaking Black English around White people so as not to be attacked for using their own secret language.

In both essays, Baldwin and Amy Tan persuade their audiences differently. Baldwin wants his audience to trust him and believe what he says as an educated man, while Tan shares her personal anecdotes in order for her audience to relate.

In Amy Tan’s writing, she recounts how her mother reacted to her story by saying, So easy to read.” This is because her essays and stories are written in simple and clear English that is understandable even to those whose first language is not English. The main ethos of her writing is to grasp the full attention of the reader. She uses appropriate vocabulary at the right level for the audience she’s addressing. Her grammar is accurate, and the flow of text is smooth and consistent throughout the essay, making it easy and comprehensible for readers. The easy-to-read yet interesting context of her writing makes it more appealing to audiences.

Pathos appeals are evident in Baldwin’s essay. According to Baldwin, it is a common observation that people of different castes, ethnicities, and religions have somewhat different ways and styles of speaking. Some even have completely different languages. So why do we discriminate against blacks if they have their own style of speaking English? Baldwin’s use of grammar and vocabulary is accurate. He presents an open and clear argument about the importance of Black English and its uniqueness.

Baldwin provides clear examples of how individuals from different nations can speak the same language but with distinct accents and speech patterns. For instance, a Frenchman living in Paris will have a different way of speaking compared to one residing in Marseille, Quebec, Guadeloupe, Senegal or Martinique despite sharing a common language – French. This is due to their unique geographical locations which influence their accent and speech.

Amy’s mother tongue includes a substantial amount of pathos. In this essay, she specifically uses emotions and feelings to describe her mother. Throughout the essay, Amy is more concerned about her mother’s use of the English language. Although her mother’s expressions were not always correct, she was still able to convey the intended meaning in her broken English. At several points in the essay, Amy uses emotionally charged and vivid language with concrete imagery. For example:

Although Tan has a good command of the English language, she uses it to paint pictures for her readers. When speaking with her mother, she communicates in broken English so that her mother can understand and speak. This is done out of respect for her mother and to ensure clear communication between them.

Baldwin uses different types of examples not from his own life, but from other countries such as Europe. For example, he discusses the influence of language in Europe by explaining that much of the tension in the Basque countries and in Wales is due to the Basque and Welsh determination not to allow their languages to be destroyed.” He continues by stating that “the range of accents on that damp little island makes England coherent for the English and totally incomprehensible for everyone else. To open your mouth in England is (if I may use black English) to put your business in the street.” From these sentences, we can see that Baldwin is a well-educated man who knows European history and geography.

Amy expresses her emotional attachment to her mother’s English language in a clear tone, stating that it is perfectly natural and vivid. She believes that it helped shape the way she saw things, expressed herself, and made sense of the world. (From Mother Tongue”)

Amy Tan truly expresses the emotions of her mother. People usually never paid attention to her mother’s words because of her limited English proficiency. A person’s language and communication skills give a specific impression. Through someone’s speech, we can recognize whether they are educated, uneducated, or illiterate. Usually, people who speak their native language well may face problems expressing themselves when migrating to other countries where they are not fully aware of the new language. Native speakers may perceive them as uneducated if they cannot communicate effectively in the new language. A person who cannot articulate their thoughts perfectly is often viewed as imperfect by others, and people tend not to pay attention to such individuals. Amy Tan expressed how her mother faced difficulties in communication and dealing with others due to her limited English proficiency.

Baldwin’s essay is filled with emotions about how black people are discriminated against not only because of their different accent of English, but just because their skin is black. They were enslaved for years due to a lack of communication. They were given chances to move forward, not for their own benefit, but for the use of their masters. It is quite evident from his writing that black people are always subjected to prejudice and unfairness. The way they speak is simply their normal accent when speaking English and it happens in all nations that different ethnic groups have different ways of speaking. However, it’s not their speech that matters; it’s their skin color.

James Baldwin’s essay aims to reduce discrimination caused by language and break down barriers that consider different varieties of English inferior. He argues that Black English is a valid language because it plays a crucial role in the lives of Black Americans, serving as a means for them to control their own power and circumstances. Baldwin highlights the cultural significance of Black Americans, who were brought together from different tribes with different languages during slavery. Despite this challenge, they took time to create their own language by using alchemy and science to transform ancient elements into something new.

Baldwin notes that the slave began the formation of the black church, and it is within this unprecedented tabernacle that Black English began to be formed” (Baldwin). This demonstrates how important language is for creating community and identity among marginalized groups.

Baldwin describes the reality for black children in the American system. He says, The brutal truth is that the bulk of white people only care about black people when they serve their purposes.” This sentence highlights the unfortunate circumstances faced by black children. Historically, black Americans have had less access to education than whites, leading to a disproportionate number of blacks being incarcerated for crimes they committed and an increase in homelessness and begging on the streets.

We can see that both essays are well-written and powerful. Amy Tan focuses more on her personal experiences, while Baldwin is passionate about writing on the subject of Black English and the biblical aspects he incorporates into his work. He writes not only for educated Black Americans but also for Whites to learn more about their interesting culture and language.

Works Cited

Amy Tan’s Mother Tongue” is a thought-provoking essay that explores the relationship between language and identity. In the essay, Tan reflects on her experiences as the daughter of Chinese immigrants and how her mother’s limited English proficiency affected their communication. She also discusses how society often judges individuals based on their language abilities, leading to discrimination and misunderstandings.

James Baldwin’s If Black English is not a language, then tell me, what is?

What Kind Of A Person Is Curley’s Wife In Of Mice And Men Analysis

As Oscar Wilde says, “If there was less sympathy in the world, there will be less trouble in the world.” It is important that people have sympathy, or else there wouldn’t be charities and organizations to help the needy set up. However, with more sympathy, people tend to ignore what is right and what is wrong. With sympathy, people will let their emotions take control of them totally and forget to use their brain to determine what is logical. Curley’s wife in Of Mice and Men by John Steinback is the kind of person who tries to gain the sympathy and attention of others. However, she fails desperately, and her craving for sympathy dug herself a grave in the end. Curley’s wife is an unsympathetic person because she’s mean, provocative, and self-obsessed. To start with, Curley’s wife doesn’t gain sympathy because she’s vicious. For example , she insulted Crooks, the stable worker viciously, after starting an argument with Candy and Crooks about Curley. When Crooks told her to leave his cabin, she yelled, “’Listen nigger, you know what I can do to you if you open your trap?’”(80). She then told Crooks again “’I could get you strung up on a tree so easy it ain’t even funny’”(81).

This depicts how she uses her status as Curley’s wife and her power over the black as a white woman to force people to obey her. This also portrays how in that time racial equality doesn’t really exist, although there is no more slavery, white people still boss black people around and still have a huge influence over them. She also said to Candy after complaining about Curley “’An’ what am I doin’? Standin’ here talkin’ to a bunch of bindle stiffs-a nigger an’ a dum-dum and a lousy ol’sheep’” (78). An inference can be made from what she just said- that her nastiness may come from her loneliness and her unhappy marriage. People may sympathize with her about her limited rights as a woman during that era, however her nastiness and rudeness makes her a very unsympathetic and unlikable character. All the workers on the ranch avoid talking or interacting with her because she only causes trouble, arguments, and unhappiness. Next, people don’t sympathize with Curley’s wife because she’s way too seductive. When George first met Curley’s wife, she talked to them too playfully and “smiled archly and twitched her body”(31). She talks to them flirtatiously and keeps doing actions that seduces the workers.

Also, she wears really impractical clothes on the ranch:“she wore a cotton house dress and red mules, on the insteps of which were little bouquets of red ostrich feathers” (31). Other than that, she “had full, roughed lips and wide-spaced eyes heavily made up” and “her fingernails were red”(31). No one really wears heavy makeup on a normal day especially on a ranch, and it can be inferred and read between the lines that Curley’s wife uses her beauty to entice men and get attention. It is possible that she’s doing all this because Curley never praised her and had his attention on her. However, her alluring actions and over the top clothing choice makes her a “tart” in the eyes of all the workers on the ranch (except Curley of course), which doesn’t help her get sympathy from others. As in modern day saying, “She’s playing too hard to get”. Last but not least, Curley’s wife is extremely unpitying because she’s constantly engrossed with herself. During the whole novel, it is mentioned several times that Curley’s wife should be in the “pitchers” (movies). For example, in the end when when she was confronting with Lennie, she said regretfully, “’A show come through an’ I met one of the actors…says I could go with that show…if I’d went I wouldn’t be livin’ like this you bet’”(88). During the same conversation, she says once again “’He says he was gonna put me in the movies.

Says I was a natural…he was gonna write to be about it”(88). After that, she says dreamily about all the designer and elaborate clothes she gets to wear, and the high-end life she gets to live. She always says that “’my ol’ lady stole it’” which is her mom stops the people from sending her to Hollywood, but she never thought about how she may not be as talented and star-like as she think she is (88). Other than wanting to be in the pitchers, she is always making sure her hair and her nails are kept up to the ultimate perfection. She’s once again considered a “bitch” (by George) and a “tart” (by Candy) because of this. Thus, because she’s always immersed in her “movie-star potential” and her looks, she gives off a negative aura, making her abhorred by others. In conclusion, Curley wife is unpitiful because she threatens others and is harsh to everybody, treating people with a different race without inequality. Also, she is like a Barbie doll on the ranch, being Barbie-like- flirting and beguiling every guy she sees. She thinks that she’s destined to be a movie star, and her wannabe quality makes her an obnoxious character. All in all, it is agreed in unison that she is a tart and trouble. It is often wondered by all readers, is this really what Steinbeck wants to show us, or is he trying to tell us something? It doesn’t matter if he’s trying to tell us that she’s just a small town girl with big dreams or an oppressed girl forced into marriage, no one pities her because of her vile personality and actions.

Waste In Premodern Times

Throughout most of history, the amount of waste generated by humans was insignificant. This was due to low population density and low societal levels of exploitation of natural resources. The common waste produced during premodern times mainly consisted of ashes and human biodegradable waste. These were released back into the ground locally with minimum environmental impact. Tools made out of wood or metal were generally reused or passed down through generations.

However, some civilizations seem to have been more profligate in their waste output than others. One such example is the Maya civilization of Central America who had a fixed monthly ritual. During this ritual, the people of the village would gather together and burn their rubbish in large dumps.[1]

Sir Edwin Chadwick was an English social reformer who played a significant role in the development of public health and sanitation policies in the 19th century.

With the onset of industrialisation and sustained urban growth in England, waste buildup in cities caused rapid deterioration in sanitation levels and general quality of urban life. The streets were choked with filth due to lack of waste clearance regulations. As early as 1751, Corbyn Morris proposed the establishment of a municipal authority with waste removal powers in London, stating that the preservation of people’s health is of great importance” and suggesting that “cleaning the city should be put under one uniform public management, and all filth should be conveyed by the Thames to a proper distance in the country”.

However, legislation on public health did not emerge until the mid-19th century. This was spurred by increasingly devastating cholera outbreaks and a growing public health debate. One influential report was The Sanitary Condition of the Labouring Population in 1842[4] by social reformer Edwin Chadwick. In this report, he argued for the importance of adequate waste removal and management facilities to improve the health and wellbeing of city populations.

The Nuisance Removal and Disease Prevention Act of 1846 marked the start of a gradually improving process for regulated waste management in London. The Metropolitan Board of Works was the first city-wide authority to centralize sanitation regulation for the rapidly expanding city. The Public Health Act 1875 made it mandatory for every household to dispose of their weekly waste in moveable receptacles” – the first concept for a dust-bin.[5] In 1894, Manlove, Alliott & Co. Ltd. introduced the destructor furnace.

The dramatic increase in waste disposal led to the creation of the first incineration plants, also known as ‘destructors’. In 1874, Manlove, Alliott & Co. Ltd. built the first incinerator in Nottingham based on Albert Fryer’s design.[6] However, these were met with opposition due to the large amounts of ash they produced that wafted over neighboring areas.[7]

Similar municipal waste disposal systems emerged in other major cities of Europe and North America at the turn of the 20th century. In 1895, New York City became the first city in the United States to have a public-sector garbage management system.

Early garbage removal trucks were simply open-bodied dump trucks pulled by a team of horses. In the early part of the 20th century, they became motorized. The first close-body trucks to eliminate odors with a dumping lever mechanism were introduced in Britain in the 1920s. These trucks were soon equipped with hopper mechanisms,” where the scooper was loaded at floor level and then hoisted mechanically to deposit waste into the truck.

The Garwood Load Packer was introduced in 1938 and was the first truck to incorporate a hydraulic compactor. As for methods of disposal,


Main article: Landfill

Here is an image of a landfill operation in Hawaii and a compaction vehicle in action.

Compaction vehicle in action

The Spittelau incineration plant located in Vienna is also an alternative to landfills.

Disposing of waste in a landfill involves burying it, and this practice remains common in most countries. Landfills are often established in abandoned or unused quarries, mining voids, or borrow pits. A well-designed and well-managed landfill can be a hygienic and relatively inexpensive method of disposing of waste materials. However, older, poorly designed or poorly managed landfills can create adverse environmental impacts such as wind-blown litter, attraction of vermin, and generation of liquid leachate. Landfills also produce gas (mostly composed of methane and carbon dioxide) as organic waste breaks down anaerobically. This gas can cause odor problems, kill surface vegetation, and is a greenhouse gas.

Modern landfills are designed with specific characteristics to ensure efficient waste management. One of these characteristics is the use of clay or plastic lining material to contain leachate. Additionally, deposited waste is compacted to increase its density and stability, and covered to prevent attracting vermin such as mice or rats.

Moreover, many landfills have landfill gas extraction systems installed to extract the landfill gas. This gas is pumped out of the landfill using perforated pipes and either flared off or burnt in a gas engine to generate electricity.