In the story “Aria” by Richard Rodriguez and “Mother Tongue” by Amy Tan both authors write about their experiences and struggles as a bilingual child. In “Aria” and “Mother Tongue” they describe their private language as an expression of intimacy with their loved ones. Growing up at one point they felt embarrassed and ashamed of their parents inability to speak English fluently. Tan writes “My mother’s “limited” English limited my perception of her. I was ashamed of her English,” (Tan 543). They were their parents’ connection to the outside world and often had to be the voice of their family. Rodriguez and Tan both believe that there’s more options and advantages once they became Americanized. “The social and political advantages I enjoy as a man result from the day that I came to believe that my name, indeed, is Rich-heard Road-ree-guess.” (Rodriguez 518).
Rodriguez and Tan emphasize the importance of language and the power it holds either intimately or publicly.The assumption you can make about the authors personas is that they have a strong bond and love for their intimate language. Despite the similarities there are also many differences. Rodriguez comes from a Latin background in which both parents speak Spanish and Tan comes from a Chinese background. Tan grew up in American Chinese culture and embraces societies language (English) while being able to preserve her intimate language. Unfortunately, Rodriguez faced many obstacles due to the language barrier and was not able to preserve his intimate language. The authors purposes for the essay’s are to show the importance and influence that language has on culture.