The setting of the two stories is different though the intended message is the same. In “ Me Talk Pretty One Day” , the setting is more of a formal one involving students and the teachers in a learning set up. This, therefore, requires the characters to abide by the rules and regulations associated with such an environment. In addition, it creates some sense of authority where the teacher wields more power than the other characters. The setting in “ My Mother Tongue” on the other hand is more informal. Most of the actions in the story take place in the author’ s home.
Even the title of the story itself suggests a more relaxed and informal setting. Each author has however effectively used these settings to talk about the difficulty linked with the language learning process. Conflicts are normally created in stories and narratives to help the author pass the intended message. This is evident in both stories. However, it is worth pointing out that despite the fact that the two pieces are about language, the nature of the conflict in each is very unique.
In “ Me Talk Pretty One Day” , there is a conflict between the teacher and the students. It arises because the learners have low mastery of the French language. In one instance, the teacher comments that “ I really hate you” (Sedaris 13). This is a clear indication of the disagreement between the two groups. On the other, in Tan’ s narrative, conflict arises between her mother and those who listen to her. The author herself is able to get what her mother is saying. However, people who are not members of the family or close to them find her mother’ s language to be limited and fractured.
It also comes out when the author states that “ when I was fifteen, she used to make me call people on phone pretending I was she” (Tan 2). This and her due to the conflict which existed between her mother and those which did not understand her language. In conclusion, it is evident that both Tan and Sedaris have effectively used various narrative elements to explore the problems associated with learning a language.
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