In Maxine Kingston’s “No Name Woman” she retells the story about a tragic past family secret. Kingston reveals the horrible family dishonor of her aunt who committed suicide, and murdered her newborn son, by jumping into the family well in China. She continues to explain her thoughts and emotions evoked from her aunt’s actions. As time passes, Kingston’s opinion and thoughts change and her perspective is altered. Kingston shows an evolutionary change in opinion toward her aunt by explaining her different thoughts in different stages of her life.
Towards the beginning of the book, Kingston tells about her mother informing her of this story of her aunt in a way to prevent her from have sex out of wedlock and betraying her family. "My aunt could not have been the lone romantic who gave up everything for sex (224).” A lone romantic would have slept with a lot of men and Kingston did not want to think of her aunt in that way. Contextual references such as, “Now that you have started to menstruate… (223)” revealed that Kingston’s thought occurred at a young age when her mother spoke to her. It is because of Kingston’s youth and innocence that she would genuinely see the best in her aunt. In order to keep the thought of her aunt pure, she protects the aunt’s virtues by suggesting the possibility of rape. At this point, Kingston defends her aunt by thinking of her as a victim and as someone accused of immoralities.
Kingston believes that her aunt was a caring individual who may not have been perfect, but was a compassionate and loving woman. "She would protect this child as she had protected its father"(231). Stating “its father” instead of “her husband” acknowledges the fact that the child was born out of wedlock. Additionally this quote shows that Kingston views her aunt as a caring individual because she was willing to love her baby as well as its father, regardless of the fact that he wasn’t her husband. "Carrying the baby to the well shows loving. Otherwise abandon it"(232). She does not want the baby to suffer in a world of judgment or endure being persecuted due to the way he was born. Kingston again seems to be defending her aunt’s faults by diluting them with tidbits of justifications. These quotes display that Kingston understands her aunt’s faults, however she is still able to see the good intentions of the choices her aunt has made.