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 her parents should have on her life, a similar attempt for many of us in the world. Lessons taught by our parents, the people who brought us into this world, help guide us into the people we become as adults. Hopefully, the guidance is positive.

Kingston's story about her aunt sends a message as to how many families communicate the meaning of life. Through this story you will see how much we truly learn from our parents, some of it good and some of it bad. The story of Kingston's aunt, as told by her mother, started out by her mother saying. You must not tell anyone," my mother said, "what I am about to tell you. In China your father had a sister who killed herself. She jumped into the family well. We say that your father has all brothers because it is as if she had never been born." (Kingston, 319) In the first sentence of this quote, the mother is asking her daughter, Kingston, to remain quiet about a negative event, an occurrence deemed as shameful, in the family's life. Kingston's mother, playing a role model, taught her daughter that silence is good because the family is not reminded of how her aunt shamed the family. If silence is good in this situation, perhaps silence is beneficial in all bad situations. How will Kingston learn when to speak of the bad?

Kingston?s mother spoke of the aunt only as a lesson to her daughter. "Whenever she had to warn us about life, my mother told stories that ran like this one, a story to grow up on." (Kingston, 321) Kingston learned, from her mother, that her aunt committed suicide because she shamed herself, her family and her village...

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