Genre/Rhetorical analysis “Mother Tongue”

One genre that I find myself interacting with a lot are topical discussions specifically the kind you will see on a podcast or in a YouTube video. It is interesting to consider the kinds of conventions used within this type of genre. For podcasts you can find that they span a time of usually around an hour or longer. Similarly the discussion videos I find myself watching tend to be around a half hour in length. Usually the discussion is of a casual nature on things that can either stay casual or become serious. I should mention that it is also usually on some form of drama that is going on in a certain online community. Instances of “he said this” and “last night this went down”. These discussions manage to simulate that of a casual conversation that you would have with a good friend. The kinds of small jokes you would drop into the middle of a conversation and the off topic nonsense that you would sometimes drive the conversation to. Considering that you either don’t see the people because it is an audio only podcast or there is a face cam that shows someone you have never met in person, the way that they speak so openly and casually can make you feel like you are sitting right there with them having a conversation as good friends.

Now speaking on the matter of “Mother Tongue” by Amy Tan, if I had to say what genre I believed it to be, I would say that it is a commentary on the notion of proper English and the barrier that sort of exists with those of broken English, specifically in the case of her family (and I suppose other Asian Americans, but not as extensively as her own experience). She keeps her formal tone all throughout the essay, but we can still relate and understand the difference of the matter to someone who does and doesn’t speak “proper English” at home as opposed to in public and more formal matters.

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