Maxine Hong Kingston: The Woman Warrior

1949 words - 8 pages

About the author In 1940, a person by the name of Maxine Hong Kingston was born. She was the daughter of Chinese immigrants who operated a gambling house in Stockton, California. The first of six children born in America, and like many other Chinese immigrant children, her childhood consisted of long, hard labor working in the family laundry business alongside her siblings (www.llcc.cc.il.us ). She grew up listening to the stories of other immigrants and later used the information in her own writing. Kingston was a gifted student and attended public schools. Because of her talent, she received eleven scholarships, allowing her to enroll at the University of California, Berkeley. She began her studies as an engineering major but changed to English literature. In 1962, she graduated with a bachelor's degree and in November of that same year she married a man she had met in school, Earll Kingston, an actor (voices.cla.umn.edu). Kingston earned a teaching certificate in California and taught high school there for a year. In 1967 the Kingston's moved to Hawaii where she taught over the next ten years.In 1976 while teaching at a private high school in Hawaii, she published her first book The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts; it became a big success. This book combined autobiography and fiction to tell the story of a girl born of Chinese immigrant parents growing up in America during the 1950s (www.uncp.edu). The Woman Warrior is also filled with stories about earlier generations of Chinese women, their tragic lives in the extremely male-dominated society of China, and her attempts to break away from their traditional image. The Woman Warrior became a bestseller and received the National Book Critic's Circle Award. It is often taught in high schools and colleges across the country. Kingston's second book, China Men, was seen as a companion to her first book. She again explores the Chinese-American experience, only this time through the eyes of the men in her family (voices.cla.umn.edu). While still well received by the critics, this book received more controversial reviews. Again, Kingston was awarded the National Book Critic's Circle Award. In 1987, Kingston published Hawaii One Summer, a collection of poetry and, after the success of her previous books, was financially able to give up teaching as a career and focus on her writing (www.llcc.cc.il.us). She did, however, continue to teach intermittently as a visiting professor. A third book, Tripmaster Monkey: His Fake Book, was published in 1989 - her first novel. This book was such a departure for Kingston that it confused many of her readers; the critics still praised it. Set in San Francisco during the 1960s, Tripmaster Monkey is the story of a young Chinese-American man who, like many of her characters, fights against racism in his journey toward self-definition.Kingston's realistic characters and rich imagery help to illuminate the relationship between men and women in a culture...

Find Another Essay On Maxine Hong Kingston: The Woman Warrior

Essay title : Dependency: women's weakness; Book title: The Woman Warrior; Book author: Maxine Hong Kingston

774 words - 3 pages DependencyIn Kingston's novel, The Woman Warrior, Kingston presents mothers, aunts, daughters, and woman warriors with different characteristics and styles of life, even the bravest women in her novel, Brave Orchid and Fa Mu Lan are held accountable of weaknesses. Kingston takes the reader deep into each individual's personal story and experiences to prove that all women are feeble. By showing the bravest women to have weaknesses, Kingston

Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrior

2620 words - 10 pages Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrior Maxine Hong Kingston's novel, The Woman Warrior is a semi-autobiographical collection of short stories that chronicles her childhood in California. It gives the reader a feeling of how it feels like to be a Chinese American girl growing up with

One's Voice and Silence in "Woman Warrior" by Maxine Hong Kingston

750 words - 3 pages The final chapter of Maxine Kingston's amazing book, The Woman Warrior, is an anthem to voice and silence. The entire chapter focuses on Maxine trying to find her own individual voice and niche in society. At an early age, Kingston was always picked last, didn't fit in with her classmates who were allowed to participate in plays, and failed kindergarten. All of these abnormalities can be attributed to Maxine's inability to find her own identity

"Woman Warrior" by Maxine Hong Kingston - Analysis of Brave Orchid in Chapter 1

756 words - 3 pages The most puzzling aspect of this chapter proves to be the contradicting images that Maxine Kingston paints of her mother, Brave Orchid. During chapters one and two, Brave orchid is depicted as a sexist tyrant who is ashamed of her daughter. "'Stop that crying!' my mother would yell. 'I'm going to hit you if you don't stop. Bad girl (46)." Brave Orchid is depicted somewhat as the antithesis of a woman warrior, for she gives in to the stigmas that

Contrast of Materialism and Hedonism in Chapter 4 of "Woman Warrior" by Maxine Hong Kingston

608 words - 2 pages an accompaniment. Furthermore, the only reason for Moon Orchid's current survival can be attributed to her husband's financial support of her, turning her into a worthless pig. It can thus be concluded that becoming entirel either materialistic or hedonistic proves to be severely detrimental to one's character. Perhaps Maxine Kingston is trying to express that a middle-of-the-road path is the best to lead a cheerful existence. One surely does

“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

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

784 words - 3 pages constituting the reason for this word's capitalization. It takes an incredible amount of strength to follow an ascetic lifestyle without luxury. Thus, the title of this book, "The Woman Warrior" fits perfectly considering the incredible strength of these women who must disregard temptation and base their lives solely on "Necessity."It is quite intriguing that Maxine Kingston portrays women as strong "warriors" who sacrifice themselves for the social

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

The theme of identity as developed within the novel "The Woman Warrior" by Maxime Hong Kingston

1220 words - 5 pages I am going to explore the theme of identity as developed within the novel "The Woman Warrior". In "The Woman Warrior", the first-person narrator illustrates the progression of the search for her identity as a female torn between two cultures: Chinese and American. Maxine Hong Kingston, in my opinion, subverts the traditional definitions of what is justified by many as independent identity, and more specifically she attempts to question the

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

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

Similar Essays

"Woman Warrior", By Maxine Hong Kingston

631 words - 3 pages Aside from her actions, Maxine Hong Kingston isn't much more different than the woman she so greatly idolized. In her novel, "The Woman Warrior", Kingston expresses her desire for respect and support from her village. In the meantime, she ultimately puts Fa Mu Lan up on a pedestal as the ideal "warrior" she strives to be. From Mu Lan's story, Kingston hopes to find and live a parallel life to that of Mu Lan, one with a balance between her past

Criticism Of The Title, "Woman Warrior" By Maxine Hong Kingston

607 words - 2 pages cruel knot...I would have been an outlaw knot-maker (163)." This quotation implies that a knot is like a talk-story, twisted into different shapes and designs. The knotmaker, or rather, storyteller, is blinded by the intricacy of his or her knot/story, and thus, the emperor outlawed these complicated and false knots/stories. However, Maxine continues to be a knotmaker of complex yet inaccurate stories, telling the reader that The Woman Warrior

Talking Story In Woman Warrior By Maxine Hong Kingston

1567 words - 6 pages What Are You Talking-Story About?Maxine Hong Kingston is arguably one of today's most outspoken contemporary feminist writers. However, when she was initially thrown into an American lifestyle by her parents, she faced enormous difficulties in cultural divergence, leaving her to question everything she has ever learned. Her memoirs, The Woman Warrior, celebrate this victorious journey from a once silenced Chinese immigrant to a liberated Chinese

The Power Of Words In "Woman Warrior" By Maxine Hong Kingston

701 words - 3 pages . "The idioms for revenge are 'report a crime' and 'report to five families.' The reporting is the vengeance - not the beheading, not the gutting, but the words. And I have so many words - 'chink' words and 'gook' words too - that they do not fit on my skin (53)." Maxine Kingston is writing The Woman Warrior to bring awareness to her cause and rally a giant army of followers to support her cause for justice. She wants to rid the world of racism