"The Woman Warrior" Essay

1042 words - 4 pages

"The Woman Warrior" is a story about Maxine Hong Kingston's memoir, who is trying to blend and develop two different cultures into one. The story explains how immigrants have hard times and difficulties when they move to a new country. The setting of Women Warrior tells a life of Maxine Hong Kingston as a second-generation Chinese- American girl. She realizes that she must combine Chinese langue, culture, and family tradition with American standards. Kingston has many problems struggling with her life to balance Chinese life at home while going to American school. She must deal with being a quiet woman trying to fight racism and oppression. She is striving to blend the two cultures without abandoning the traditions. Kingston goes back and forth from the past to the present to show the importance of her past heritage being combined with her present life.In Chinese culture, women are viewed as inferior. Kinston is repeatedly reminded that, as a girl, she will "grow up to be a wife and a slave."(47) She often tries to prove her worth by doing something great, like getting straight A's in school. Kingston learns most of her Chinese lessons through talk-stories told by her mother and others members of the family. She can identify with most of the talk-stories that she hears. She is warned in the beginning of the stories to keep quiet about the no mane woman. The stories are told in a fashion that once it is finished, there are no questions asking for more information. This is important, because as she is trying to establish some ties between the two cultures, she must truly understand the reason for the story. Most of the stories tell of one lesson and give no reason for most of the actions talking place. One story that can relate to is the story of the no name aunt, because the characters are a female ancestor who broke the rules of tradition. Because the gossips and the humiliation she brought onto her own family, she ought to jump in the well with her new born child to wash away their disgracefulness. Kingston, a Chinese-American girl, finds her own Chinese heritage very confusing. Her mother was the one who tells her about the glorious woman warriors and their powerful strength, and useful place in Chinese culture. Her mother also is the one who reminds her that women in Chinese culture are inferior and worthless. Her mother warns her to obey all the traditional Chinese rules, or she will end up with the same fate as the no name aunt. Ironically, they have been breaking the rules all along by being Chinese in America.Chinese people are very superstitious. They believe in ghosts and many other bringers of good and evil. Ghosts are mentioned numerous times throughout Woman Warrior. Ghosts are acknowledged as the spirits f the dead and characters in talk-stories and the folklore tales. People who are not Chinese are also seen as ghosts, that's why her mother, Brave Orchid states, "America is full with machines and ghosts- Taxi Ghosts, Bus Ghosts,...

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