Maxine Kingston's No Name Woman Essay

1285 words - 6 pages

Learn from the Stories
Having two considerably different cultures can cause a strife with one’s identity. In “No Name Woman,” Maxine Kingston’s mother tells her a story of her aunt that committed adultery which therefore led to her segregation from her own family and villagers. Kingston’s mother asserts that the story should not be told by anyone and the story’s purpose was to strike fear in her daughter. Then, Kingston explores the different scenarios that could have led to her aunt’s suppressed suicide. Through the use of characterization of her aunt’s desolation, animated imagery and diction, Kingston demonstrates the difficulty of finding an identity when different cultures conflict with each other.
Kingston attempting to relate to her Chinese or American culture becomes an arduous task as she explores her aunt’s characteristics of remoteness. In “No Name Woman,” Kingston claims, “...[Her] aunt used a secret voice, a separate attentiveness”(453). Her claim reflects this characterization of her aunt’s solitude because she was very private about the man who got her pregnant. Kingston’s characterization of her aunt creates a predicament in identifying with her cultures because she explains how Chinese people were very vocal and loud, but her aunt’s quietness does not reflect that same loudness of the Chinese people. Kingston also describes her aunt as “ of the stars, a bright dot in blackness, without home, without a companion, in eternal cold and silence”(455). Stars in the sky are typically perceived as something outstanding or bright, but Kingston meant that her aunt was as isolated as a star in the galaxy. Although the aunt was well-known among the villagers, she was acknowledged for the wrong reasons and was shamed by them.
Kingston’s mother constructs this animated imagery to create a fear in Kingston so she would avoid the same state of being ostracized as the aunt for committing adultery. Her mother goes on saying, “...[They] began slaughtering our stock… the animals scream their deaths…Some of the faces stopped to peer at us… the hands flattened against the panes… and left red prints”(448). Kingston’s mother describes the cries of the animals as they die and how the villagers left blood handprints on the windows as they peered into it. Such ominous description of the raid would be effective in striking fear. The aunt committing adultery is a situation alone not at all acceptable in Kingston’s Chinese culture, but the consequences of her aunt’s mistake were blown out of proportion. Kingston begins to feel conflicted with her identity because in America, committing adultery does not create such calamity between the surrounding people but both her American and Chinese culture know that it is a shameful act. She feels confused because the act of adultery would be handled in a completely different way with different cultures.
Kingston description of the aunt and newborn illustrates their invisibility to the memories of the family....

Find Another Essay On Maxine Kingston's No Name Woman

Essay on Maxine Hong Kingston's "No Name Woman" and how she utilizes this story to help her integrate her two cultural identities into her own

1635 words - 7 pages A person's identity cannot be given to them, instead a person must achieve a sense of her character through personal experience and self search. In "No Name Woman", Maxine Hong Kingston recalls the events of her aunt's life in the elusive world of her Chinese roots. The story of her aunt is told by her mother and Kingston recreates the events into an exploratory story to help herself figure out what part of her existence is Chinese and help her

Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrior

2620 words - 10 pages . The Woman Warrior starts off with the story titled No Name Woman. In this chapter, Brave Orchid tells the story of Kingston's aunt. Despite her warning to Kingston ("You must not tell anyone.") Kingston still decides to tell the story to the reader. In this part of the story, the nameless aunt has a child out of wedlock

Comparing the Role of the Ghost in Morrison's Beloved and Kingston's No Name Woman

1003 words - 4 pages The Symbolic Role of the Ghost in Morrison's Beloved and Kingston's No Name Woman The eponymous ghosts which haunt Toni Morrison's Beloved and Maxine Hong Kingston's "No Name Woman" (excerpted from The Woman Warrior) embody the consequence of transgressing societal boundaries through adultery and murder. While the wider thematic concerns of both books differ, however both authors use the ghost figure to represent a repressed historical

Maxine Hong Kingston's "Woman Warrior" - Symbolism of the Circle

784 words - 3 pages supporting the others, the tire will collapse into oblivion. The same is true with these round objects. If a slice is taken out of the circle, what is left? Merely a odd-shaped lump that isn't as stable as a circle. Maxine Kingston is trying to exemplify the notion that her family was like a circular bicycle tire with everyone dependent on the next for food and other necessities. However, by having a fatherless child, the "no name woman" didn't

Power of Mother Nature in Maxine Hong Kingston's "Woman Warrior"

671 words - 3 pages Throughout chapter two of Maxine Kingston's acclaimed book, "The Woman Warrior", she illustrates the bane of society and the inherent power of nature. The corruption of society can be seen when Maxine states "At night, the mice and toads look at me...not once would I see a three-legged toad, though; you need strings of cash to bait them (23)." This quotation describes how money can destroy nature and create a monstrosity out of it, such as thee

No Name Woman

1702 words - 7 pages “No Name Woman”, by Maxine Hong Kingston is the first chapter from Kingston’s collection of memoirs in “The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts.” Kingston ceases the family-imposed silence that surrounds the secret of an aunt, whom she names No Name Woman. This no name aunt of hers became pregnant by a man that was not her husband. She committed the crime of adultery. The No Name Woman declines to make public the name of the man

Impact of Chinese Heritage on Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrior

2356 words - 9 pages of The Woman Warrior. Looking through the eyes of Kingston, one is to perceive the traditional Chinese society as full of dark secrecies and carefully hushed family scandals. In “No Name Woman”, Kingston's anonymous aunt never spoke once through all her horrendous trials and pregnant fears, both because she knew she would be unheard and because the verbal acknowledgement of the “crime” was in a sense far worse than the actual offense itself. In

Quest for Identity in Maxine Hong Kingston's Autobiography, The Woman Warrior

2282 words - 9 pages Quest for Identity in Maxine Hong Kingston's Autobiography, The Woman Warrior Maxine Hong Kingston's autobiography, The Woman Warrior, features a young Chinese-American constantly searching for "an unusual bird" that would serve as her impeccable guide on her quest for individuality (49). Instead of the flawless guide she seeks, Kingston develops under the influence of other teachers who either seem more fallible or less realistic

A general overview of Maxine Hong Kingston's "the Woman Warrior" done for an english class

1072 words - 4 pages Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrior is a book of blending cultures, and woman's rights. It vaguely ties five short stories and anecdotes to these themes. Kingston puts to use, a lot of symbolic figures in the book, and Chinese folk tales. The whole book revolves around the author, and her struggles with her gender, and nationality. The book starts out centered around Kingston's aunt and her baby in a story titled "No Name Woman", as told to

Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrior and Jennifer Finney Boylan's She's Not There

1793 words - 8 pages Matt Stewart Mack 3/10/2011 Sec: 005 Word Count: 1,727 It is an incongruous fact of life that deciding to turn left instead of right can determine what path a person ends up walking in life. This holds true when comparing two memoirs, The Woman Warrior, written by Maxine Hong Kingston and She's Not There, written by Jennifer Finney Boylan. Though both novels fall under the memoir genre, both are unique in their own right. Kingston writes

"Woman Warrior" - Analysis of the "No Name Woman"

700 words - 3 pages later explanation. The entire chapter revolves around this "no name woman" who intriguingly opens the doors for several recurring themes in this section. Ultimately Kingston's first chapter is devoted to the struggle between fitting in with the social commonplace and developing one's own individual character.The novel's setting in rural China holds great importance to the development of this dominating theme. In China's communist government

Similar Essays

Maxine Hong Kingston's No Name Woman

1385 words - 6 pages Maxine Hong Kingston's No Name Woman A person's identity cannot be given to her, instead a person must achieve a sense of her character through personal experience and self-reflection. In "No Name Woman", Maxine Hong Kingston recalls the events of her aunt's life in the vague world of her Chinese roots. The story of her aunt is told by her mother and Kingston recreates the events into an exploratory story to help herself figure out what part

Maxine Hong Kingston's Woman Warrior No Name Woman

738 words - 3 pages Maxine Hong Kingston's Woman Warrior - No Name Woman The excerpt, "No Name Woman", from Maxine Hong Kingston's book, Woman Warrior, gives insight into her life as a Chinese girl raised in America through a tragic story of her aunt's life, a young woman raised in a village in China in the early 1900s. The story shows the consequences beliefs, taught by parents, have on a child's life. Kingston attempts to figure out what role the teachings of

“No Name Woman” Maxine Kingston's Memoir, The Woman Warrior Describes

1306 words - 5 pages ?No Name Woman? Maxine Kingston's memoir, The Woman Warrior describes the struggles of a Chinese-American woman growing up as she attempts to find a balance between two cultures and to find her own identity within them. Kingston's novel abounds with imagery, from the ghosts and barbarians, to the different colors (black, white, and red). Every character is introduced in a way to clarify Kingston's motives for writing. Through her stories, she

“No Name Woman” Maxine Hong Kingston

567 words - 2 pages In the essay ?No Name Woman? Maxine Hong Kingston tells a story from her Chinese culture, of a forgotten aunt whose husband went to America. During his absence the aunt mysteriously became with child. No one in her village questioned her on how the child was miraculously conceived. Instead they attacked her and her family, showing their shame for the situation they were unwillingly placed in. Because the aunt is obviously pregnant by someone