Analysis Of The Woman Warrior By Maxine Hong Kingston

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The woman warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston is a collection of stories that blends between childhood memories, traditional Chinese stories and fictional stories. Maxine Kingston was born in the United States to Chinese immigrant parents. Growing up as a Chinese American woman, Kingston was exposed to gender roles defined by the traditional Chinese culture and the American culture. Thus, throughout woman warrior, Kingston portrays the conflict between the traditional Chinese gender roles and American gender roles and her viewpoint towards the issue. Particularly, the story white Tigers, in which Kingston portrays herself as a traditional Chinese warrior who goes to battle in absence of her father showcases an alternative to traditional Chinese…show more content…
Kingston shows the social view towards girls by stating “You know how girls are. There’s no profit in raising girls. Better to raise geese than girls” (Kingston 46). Reminding the reader the constant sexist comments Kingston experienced throughout her childhood. More importantly, Kingston’s imagination of Fa Mu Lan adapts a gender role of a man. Kingston states, “I put on men’s clothes and armor and tied my hair in a man’s fashion” (Kingston 36). As a warrior in battle, Kingston takes the role of a traditional man. In fact, this ideology was used to show Kingston’s frustration towards the place of a women in the Chinese American society. A society where one’s abilities were identified only if they were boys. Moreover, after recalling an encounter with a villager, Kingston states, “I’m not a bad girl, I would scream. I’m not a bad girl….I might as well have said I’m not a girl” (Kingston 46). Showcasing her infuriation towards gender inequalities which made her feel that things would be easier if she was a boy. More importantly, throughout the text, Kingston was not only resisting beliefs of her society towards women but also of her own…show more content…
The story of Fa Mu Lan portrayed in the chapter White Tigers cleverly showcases Kingston’s expectations of the society where women are seen worthless. Within the story, Kingston provides the reader a contrast between her real life and her imagination to appeal to the reader about the frustration in her life. Furthermore, Fa Mu Lan was portrayed as a powerful warrior and at the same time a loving and caring mother. Portraying the character Fa Mu Lan with these qualities, writer was successfully able to demolish traditional Chinese beliefs about women in the society, while keeping the balance between power roles and feminine
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