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Maxine Hong Kingston - a Girl without Fate - Term Paper Example

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The paper "Maxine Hong Kingston - a Girl without Fate" describes the internal and social conflict experienced by a girl born in 1940 in a mixed marriage of Chinese women and an American which made her feel like an outcast in her family and unable to gain national identity for a long time.
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Maxine Hong Kingston - a Girl without Fate
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Download file to see previous pages The young Maxine Hong Kingston would develop an affinity for words that would eventually blossom into a strong writing voice.  This voice comes forward in her short story “No Name Woman” to tell of a family legend that has helped to shape the woman she would become.  In her speculations about what might have pushed the no-name woman to a position of suicide and her subsequent disownment by the family, Kingston, as narrator, reveals a great deal about the social and cultural positions of her dual society. The story, told in the first person, is presented as an autobiographical reflection upon a story told to Kingston by her mother when she first reached puberty.  Essentially, the mother tells Kingston about an aunt she had that is no longer acknowledged or remembered (out loud) by the family.  This aunt was married quickly to a young man who was leaving China for America to try to earn money.  The weddings were arranged so as to provide these young men with the anchors necessary to ensure they would return home.  Years after their departure, though, this aunt became pregnant, bringing disgrace upon the family.  As the time for the baby’s birth draws close, the village rises up against the family that has brought so much shame and dishonor to their community, attacking the family home and destroying their property.  The rice fields are trampled and drained, the doors are broken in, the kitchenware is smashed and the villagers act in ways calculated to instill terror in the hearts of those insides.  After the villagers are gone and the family is left to salvage whatever shattered pieces of their lives that are left to them, the pregnant aunt ran out into the fields and, later that night, gave birth to her baby in a nearby pigsty.  Kingston’s mother later finds the girl and her newborn child drowned in the family well. The remainder of the story is Kingston’s reflections upon this aunt as she attempts to understand why she would have risked so much simply for sex.  There are several massive holes in the story of the no-name aunt for Kingston.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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