ANSWER TO THE QUESTION
Gloria Anzaldua’s piece, How to Tame a Wild Tongue, offers readers a chance to experience the physical and linguistic challenges of living in Texas. The vignette starts with the author’s visit to a dentist who chides her for having a wild tongue that should be controlled. The visit to the dentist is a metaphor that demonstrates the society’s treatment of dissident. When the dentist seeks to tame the woman’s wild tongue, he says that, “We’re going to have to do something about your tongue.” This can be construed to show how social change activists are viewed, and the author asserts that, “wild tongues can’t be tamed. They can only be cut out” (Anzaldua 472). Anzaldua then sets out to explore the tradition of silence which sets the pace for the arguments and analyses in the essay.
Although the essay begins with a personal narrative which appeals to the readers’ pathos, it quickly changes to a quote asking, “Who is to say that robbing a people of its language is less violent than war?” This sets the tone for a dual structure that investigates the ostracization of her linguistic identity and a series of personal narratives that detail her experiences. Gloria uses process analysis to evaluate the manner in which Spanish speakers have been treated in the United States. The author writes on the tradition of silence that she has been subjected to from childhood. Here, she also uses the narrating strategy and describes how women in her culture were discriminated upon, with some words being reserved for the. As a child she was repeatedly encouraged to keep her silence by being told that “Flies don’t enter a closed mouth” (Anzaldua 472). She goes on to say that all the derogatory words in her culture were reserved for women, and they were never used on men. In doing so, she classifies and divides the two genders based on the way her society treated them in her childhood.
Gloria exemplifies the struggle of the Chicano people, she writes that, “Now that we had a name, some of the fragmented pieces began to fall together – who we were, what we were, how we had evolved. We began to get glimpses of what we might eventually become” (Anzaldua 479). The exemplification of the fight for the recognition of the author’s native Chicano people is achieved when Gloria documents their social and economic suffering, as well as their differences with other Latinos. She elaborates how the Chicanos do not relate with the Anglo-American or the Mexican-American traditional values.
Gloria compares and contrasts the three cultures by outlining the areas where their traditions intersect. The work highlights the different form of Spanish that the Chicano culture speaks and goes further to elaborate the difference in syllables. Aside from being a comparing and contrasting technique, this comparison and contrast of the vowels and syllables used by the two dialects can be viewed as the rhetorical strategy of explaining and analyzing a process. Here, process refers to the author’s extensive analysis of the use of vowels and syllables by the Chicanos from South Texas. The author also describes the different music that the Chicanos listened to, it was a distinctive norteno music, also known as Chicano music (Anzaldua 477). She then embarks on a descriptive streak as she reminisces her childhood days when she listened to bands known as conjuntos. Anzaldua explores a number of practices, values, and relationships to exemplify her work. She also utilizes a number of rhetorical strategies to imbue her nostalgia in the reader.
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