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Maxine Hong Kingstons Women Warrior - Book Report/Review Example

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Maxine Hong Kingston 's "Women Warrior" is a classic piece of literature, elucidating in details the different problems and aspects of a woman's life. Through the talk-stories of her mother, she discovers what different women have been through, how each reacted to the ordeals of her life and what end did their reactions brought to them…
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Maxine Hong Kingstons Women Warrior
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Download file to see previous pages As Butler says:" In Maxine Hong Kingston's work The Woman Warrior, the technique of several different narrators from several different points of view is used to tell the story of a woman's struggle with identity as a minority in American culture" 1
Before starting with these stories, but must get acquainted with the idea of " talk-stories." These were several stories her mother told her, where reality was mixed with imagination, and their basic purpose was to transfer the Chinese values from one generation to next.2
This story focuses on gender discrimination and patriarchy in the Chinese society. Though her aunt had no say in the sexual experience that made her pregnant, she was hold responsible for it. This exposes the double standards in the society towards women. Her house, that is Kingston's father house, where her in-laws sent her after her husband left for America, was ransacked.
Her mother tells Kingston about her aunt at the start of her menstruation to caution her against premarital sex and though her aunt might have been forced to have sex with her culprit, Kingston wants to believe that she was seductress with her own special charms.3
Silence plays a very important part in this chapter. Her aunt was a quiet women and she died in silence. Her mother tells her not to tell anyone about this aunt. "Don't tell anyone you had an aunt. Your father does not want to hear her name. She has never been born." They also believed that when someone died in silence, their ghost haunts that place and is always in search of a replacement. But Kingston's writes about this story, letting everyone know, for two reasons. Firstly, because she thought that those who remained silent have a tragic end like her aunt. Secondly, because she believed that if she remained silent it would be like participating her crime against her aunt. "But there is more to this silence: they want me to participate in her punishment. And I have"
Therefore by letting everyone know she can escape from being the substitute her ghost was looking. But she fears sometimes that this could lead to more chasing and punishment by the ghost." People who can comfort the dead can also chase after them to hurt them further-a reverse ancestor worship"4
However, silence has been accentuated here and even the chapter name's " No Name Woman" signifies silence.
"White Tigers" are an attempt to find a strengthening feature in her Chinese identity. She doesn't want to believe that women were as helpless and submissive as her aunt in the preceding chapter. She musters her strength and hope from the "Warrior Woman" and that fictitious character is "Fa Mu Lan". What Kingston finds most amusing about this woman, despite of endless flaws in the story, is that this woman is an all-rounder. Though a fighter on the field, voracious and aggressively fighting against the enemies, she is very apt at all female duties too. She, like any other Chinese woman, gets married and has a son. It is strongly argued that Fa Mu Lan was probably Kingston's self-image, how she saw herself and more importantly how she wanted to see herself. This is evident from use of the word in subjunctive mood--"would". This indicates that either Kingston saw ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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