The Woman Warrior: Memoirs Of A Girlhood Among Ghost

2185 words - 9 pages

“The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghost” Maxine Hong Kingston is a critically acclaimed memoir published in 1975 that presents her struggles and experiences during girlhood life in America as an immigrant Chinese girl. Finding voice of silenced women is the fundamental theme of “The Woman Warrior.” Through her memoirs, Maxine Hong Kingston gives a special language for the voiceless women to find their own identities. Kingston largely figures out the lives of Chinese American women she evidently knows. She tells the talk-stories of her mom, Brave Orchid, her nameless aunt, No Name Woman, her aunt, Moon Orchid, and the warriors, Fa Mu Lan and Ts’ai Yen. It is a memoir of Kingston’s girlhood and a coming-of-age story. In her memoir, Kingston explores daughter relationship, motherhood, sisterhood, wife relationship, childbearing, child rearing, and patriarchy. “The Woman Warrior” is not a traditional tale, but Kingston’s girlhood memoirs that make her work a collage. Maxine puts forth an unanswered question how a Chinese-American can find the identity when the immigrants hide and change their names (mostly nameless) in America.
Chinese-American Women
“The Woman Warrior” is a story of a Chinese girl’s childhood life and experiences in California and shares family stories and Chinese legends. “The Woman Warrior” is a magnificently written memoir of the author, Maxine Hong Kingston, but is a pungent, truth about the slavish life of Chinese women. From her mother’s talk-stories, she understands that only a brave, wily woman can withstand in the patriarchal Chinese society. Kingston presents the two worlds, one about life in China, and another about life in America. America is the place where her parents emigrated, and China is her motherland, which she learns from her mother’s talk-stories. She has to fill the untold part of her mother’s talk-stories, because she did not tell the detailed stories, as Kingston is not the Chinese, but Chinese-American. The well-developed stories by Kingston bring out anger for the voicelessness of the traditional Chinese women, even though it does not fall into the traditional forms. “The Women Warrior” is a beautiful and powerful writing, which is a combination of frustration, love, and hate.
In traditional Chinese culture, women are considered as voiceless. If it is true, the legends and the talk-stories that daughters heard from their mothers may certainly be contemplated instructions and subversive stories. The talk-story of Fa Mu Lan, the legend of Chinese Woman Warrior, is a woman who passes beyond the socially imposed limits. “White Tigers” is Kingston’s childhood fantasy to transcend an insignificant life. In her childhood, she imagines herself as Fa Mu Lan because the woman warrior did a heroic deed by saving her community. The stories of Brave Orchid illustrate how legends and talk-stories give voices for the silenced and voiceless woman.
Inequalities of Women
The role of women...

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