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Unsure where to start essay


-- 2014-10-20
I have to write a four page essay about two articles "Mother Tongue" by Amy Tan and "If Black English Isn't A Language than tell me what is?" By James Baldwin. When I read Amy Tan's Article it was more free flowing and her ideas were easy to understand and in turn made it more relate-able, when it came to James Baldwin I felt myself being lost and that he was that he was talking to the more advanced reader. However I mainly have a problem finding a place to start with comparing them. Please help
-- 2014-10-24 
James Baldwin once commented on his writing style by saying,"when I write, I let it all hang out." This explains why his stories tend to meander and go off on tangents.
When comparing Baldwin to Amy Tan, I think your best bet is to begin with their respective backgrounds. Amy Tan comes from an East Asian family who immigrated to the U.S. during the 20th century. She most likely learned English at a young age while also learning Chinese.
In contrast, James Baldwin grew up in an African-American family in the South during the 1930's - a far different time and place than Amy Tan's experience. Baldwin's father was a preacher; this impacted his writing style as well.

The common thread is that both authors are from minority groups and can write from the perspective of an outsider looking in (at white America in this case). They also bring unique cultural experiences to their works. Tan has firsthand recollections of her family adjusting to life in the U.S. as well as to Asians who were more established in America. Baldwin captures the experiences of Blacks in the South and elsewhere before, during and after the Civil Rights era.

I hope this was helpful.



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