“How to Tame a Wild Tongue” is one of the 7 essays out of the book “Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza ” written by Gloria E. Anzaldua. In this part of the book Anzaldua talks about her Chicana life in a time of immigration discrimination where Latinos living in the United States of America struggled to find their national identity and a language they could speak freely and without humiliation.
Hispanic immigrants and Hispanics born in the US were forced to assimilate the prominent English language and culture .Gloria however does not fully identify as American with American values,nor does she identify has fully Mexican, with Mexican values.Anazaldua talks about how a person’s language is a key to identity.The language you speak is apart of your culture,and your culture it what defines you.
Although the United States of America is seen has a melting pot of many cultures and heritages, immigrants use language to preserve their cultural heritage and identity.On page 46 it states,”My “home” tongues are the languages I speak with my sister and brothers,with my friends.”This quote shows that even though Anazaldua was force to speak English at school she still spoke “home” languages at home. She never fully ditched her native cultures and languages.Anazaldua also talks about how she grew up with pressure to take adapt the English only standards.Standards that she wouldn’t accept,but was nonetheless a part of being successful in American.On page 44 it states,”If you want to be American, speak ‘American.’If you don’t like it, go back to Mexico where you belong.”This quote shows the the discrimination faced if immigrants were not willing to fully assimilate American culture.All in all i gained two important points from the essay “How to Tame a Wild Tongue”.You should never judge someone just because they come from a different culture that do things differently.Different cultures may have different ways of looking at things, different ways of dressing, and different ways of expressing personality goodness.I also learned how important language and identity is.I never thought that someone would get threatened just because they spoke a different language and had different customs.