Reading Response 5: How To Tame a Wild Tongue

As I read, How to Tame a Wild Tongue, I was very inspired and interested in learning more about the Chicano culture, language, and discourse. Gloria Anzaldua’s words were so powerful and it was evident that she was passionate about her language and identity. I found it extremely fascinating that Chicano Spanish is as diverse linguistically as it is regionally. Gloria explained that if you want to really hurt her, talk badly about her language. As I came to this point in the text, I began to realize that we are our language. I also began to examine myself and noticed that I can be rather defensive when it comes to my own home language. It makes me who I am today and it’s upsetting that some people would try to diminish that part of me. Before reading this, I had not put much thought into the concept that our language determines our identity, and that language and identity go hand in hand, but I’m grateful that this reality has now been brought to my attention. This was a defining moment when my perspective began to change as Gloria pointed out “to be close to another Chicana is like looking into the mirror.” We take our language for granted in America, mainly due to the fact that it is dominant in our society. English is a very powerful language and not only does it affect the culture of United States citizens, but it also influences the literacy, discourse, and culture of people who are not Americans. In addition to discourse and identity, Gloria explains, “Chicanos and other people suffer economically for not acculturating.” This is quite obvious in our country today. The struggle of identities and borders inside and outside of our country causes people to feel like “outsiders,” or people who don’t belong. There is a constant power struggle for people whose primary language is not English and it saddens me that they feel rejected because of that. It’s important to be considerate of other people’s language, culture, and discourse, simply because their language has every right to survive, just as much as ours does.

Notes for Reading Response 5

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One thought on “Reading Response 5: How To Tame a Wild Tongue

  1. I personally cannot relate to what it’s like to be rejected, shunned, or looked down upon because of my language, but it was eye opening to read How to tame a wild tongue, and also to read your view on it. How have you coped with dealing with this in your life? What methods have you used to make your language a true part of your life?

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