“How to Tame a Wild Tongue” Assingment

Posted on August 28, 2012


“Wild tongues can’t be tamed, they can only be cut out.” This line means, at a basic level, that the outspoken can’t be taught to behave, they must be forced to or forced out. To me this carries a certain weight as it is a common theme throughout human history, where people who speak out against some system are either suppressed or eventually prevail. This theme can be seen in many examples, such as the American Revolution or the recent revolutions in the Middle East. I think that it is important to understand this theme, as it doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon. 

“We needed a needed a language with which we could communicate with ourselves, a secret language.” This quote expresses an issue that all immigrant groups to the United States, and other countries, have faced at one time or another. They each feel a need to retain a language to help presserve their cultural heritage. While this has not affected me personally, I understand the need for something to help one identify with a certain group. 

“We oppress each other trying to out Chicano each other, vying to be the ‘real’ Chicanas, to speak like Chicanos.” This third quote talks about how the people who speak Chicano are their own greatest enemy because they look down on each other for either being too Chicano or not Chicano enough. This has created a bigger divide in the culture than anything that any other group has done to them. The author makes a big point of this, and I agree that it is important to note. If a culture criticizes itself based on what other cultures expect of them, then that culture is not going to do very well in the long run. The author then goes on to talk about how there is no real unified Chicano culture, which only adds to how Chicanos can feel isolated, which leads to more of them doubting their culture and potentially abandoning it.

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