The Woman Warrior Essay

Maxine Hong Kingston is a Chinese American writer and Senior Lecturer for Creative Writing at the University of California. Berkley. She has contributed to the feminist motion with such plants as her memoir The Woman Warrior. which discusses gender and ethnicity and how these constructs affect the lives of adult females. Kingston has received several awards for her parts to Chinese American Literature including the National Book Award for Nonfiction in 1981 for China Men.

The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts is a memoir and her autobiography and as Linda Hunt says “suggests that we need to pay attending to the contradictions male laterality creates for adult females who are one and the same clip subordinated by a civilization. and yet. embroiled in its interstices ; such adult females may be distressingly at odds with themselves” ( 5 ) . The first chapter of the book No Name Woman begins with a still immature misss Maxine listening to her female parent stating her the narrative of her father’s alleged sister.

The latter asks Maxine non to state her male parent about her sharing the narrative of her aunt. who got pregnant while her hubby was in America and how the villagers marginalized and made her commit self-destruction. “Don’t state your male parent you had an aunt. Your male parent does non desire to hear her name. She has ne’er been born” ( The Woman Warrior 14 ) She identifies herself with her aunt whom she calls “my forerunner” and begins to make different scenarios. narratives of what may happened to her and all are made in 3rd individual.

She is seeking to larn how to be a Chinese-American. and how Chinese people used “to name the unspeakable” and attempts to understand that if you are Chinese-American which is the portion that defines you being a Chinese and how to divide things: “Chinese-Americans. when you try to understand what things in you are Chinese. how do you divide what is curious to childhood. to poorness. insanities. one household. your female parent who marked your turning with narratives from what is Chinese?

What is a Chinese tradition and what is the films? ” ( The Woman Warrior 6 ) Linda Hunt says that Maxine’s profound struggle is about her loyality and where it lies sing the experience of the aunt she had ne’er met and is agonising about what stance has to take towards her Chinese-American history.

Subsequently on. in the book. Hunt says that Maxine juxtaposes the fable of Fa Mu Lan. “a tale her story-telling female parent used to intone. against the narrative of the criminal aunt” . and moreover says that “the intent is to prove whether her culture’s myth about a epic adult female who defends her small town will supply a manner for Kingston to exceed the degrading female societal function. and yet. be loyal to the community. ” ( Hunt. 7 )

In the article Hunt says that Kingston retells the narrative in the book conceive ofing her as Fa Mu Lan. “who through charming and self-discipline she is traines to convey about societal justness while at the same clip carry throughing her domestic obligations” and that “she creates with her organic structure the ideogram for assorted words: in Kingston’s existence it is through command of linguistic communication that a warrior is created” ( Hunt. 8 ) .

Hunt says that “this myth combined with gallantry and societal responsibility is explored to see if winning the blessing and esteem of the Chinese or Chinese-American community can supply so much satisfaction that Kingston will be persuaded to quash her hurts at the custodies of the community” ( Hunt 8 ) In her narrative. Kingston tries to overthrow her ain effort by infixing in the narrative certain elements of the female retaliator which brings at surface the unfairness adult females has to endure as sex and “the issue of female anger” ( Linda Hunt 7 ) .

She tries to convey down the baron who recruited her brother and she is showing herself as a guardian of the small town: “I want your life in payment for your offenses against the villagers”and the baron tries to be capturing. to appeal her “man to man” : “Oh. come on now. Everyone takes the misss when he can. The households are glad to be rid of them. ‘Girls are maggots in the rice’ . ‘It is more profitable to raise geese than daughters’” ( The Woman Warrior 43 )

By this she is seeking to expose the baron’s sexism and “to show the reader that. seek as she does. she can non merely overlook the patriarchal prejudices of Chinese culture” ( Hunt 8 ) The 3rd and forth chapter of the book. Hunt says that Kingston uses to “probe even further the deductions of her culture’s sanctioned manner for a adult female to be strong” ( Hunt 9 ) Maxine’s female parent. Brave Orchid lived a life that is really similar with the bounds of realistic possibility to the adult female warrior theoretical account.

Like the adult female warrior in the narrative who returns to housework and bring forth boies. Brave Orchid accepts a stage of her life without a ailment when she is called by her hubby in the United States. This narrative shows that a warrior adult female theoretical account could work for some adult females as good.

Moon Orchid. Brave Orchid’s sister. her out-migration to the United States drives her to madness and decease and this shows that she wasn’t a strong individual and Hunt says that: “-it is of import that Kingston remind us that non all adult females have acces to the singular militias of strength and inflexible will that have served her female parent ” ( Hunt 10 ) In the concluding chapter of the book. “A Song For A Barbarian Reed Pipe” . she says more about her fury at her Chinese bequest and schemes she found by doing peace with that bequest.

The storyteller tells the reader how as a adolescent she accumulated in her head a batch of truths about herself and how she tried to squeal to her female parent. She says that she tried to squeal to weather Orchid. she merely found her female parent was merely non interested: “ I shout my oral cavity. but I felt something alive lacrimation at my pharynx. bite by bite. from the inside” ( The Warrior Woman. 100 ) One dark she was holding dinner and eventually and her“throat explosion open” and she stood up burbling and speaking stating that she will ne’er acquire married to “that giant. that gorilla-ape” and threatened her female parent that if she sees the adult male once more she will travel off for good.

Her outburst towards her female parent has an of import discovery. that she has to do a pick and being an foreigner makes her to talk free. Maxine feels like she needs to acquire off from the Chinese-American community and she says to her female parent: “Even if I am stupid and speaking amusing and acquire ill. I won’t allow you turn me in to a slave or a married woman. I’m acquiring out of here. I can’t stand populating here any longer. It’s your fault” ( The Woman Warrior 201 ) In her autobiography. Maxine Hong Kingston tries to be both. a adult female warrior and a Chinese for other Chinese adult females and misss.

And as Hunt says that Kingston’s autobiography is a chef-d’oeuvre which has her ain subject of diverse cultural worlds and that she is reminding us to be careful when encompassing a cosmopolitan impression of what it means to be a adult female. I think we have something to larn through this book and how to contend for our rights and how to suit in to a universe with different nationalities. histories and traditions and as Hunt says there will ever xist: “Agonizing contradicitions between commitment to gender and fidelity to some other dimension of one’s cultural background- and this might be race or category alternatively of or every bit good as ethnicity- may be a common topographic point of the female experience” ( Hunt 12 ) I agree with Linda Hunt who said that Maxine Hong Kingston tried really difficult to happen a manner to interrupt out the silence which her anxiousness created and she eventually succeeded but the disaffection may be one of the most profound obstructions adult females have to confront in happening their interior voices.


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