Chinese Social And Cultural Values In Maxine Hong Kingston's No Name Women

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Maxine Hong Kingston’s piece “No Name Women” emphasizes on the Chinese social and cultural values. Being humiliated and condemned by the follow village members was one of the top reasons to be shun by the Chinese society in the early 1900’s . The opening line “you must not tell anyone” reflects that secrecy of the Chinese lifestyle. However Kingston’s mother clearly defies this norm and relates the dark family secret to her, which she further retells to the readers. The use of the word “you” in the opening sentence as the opening word commands the reader’s attention. It implies that Kingston’s mother is not only speaking to her but also warning the reader not to repeat what she is about to tell. The word “must’ is used as opposed to words…show more content…
The use of the word “Now” suggests that Kingston is currently in a vulnerable position in her life. To repeat the actions of her aunt and her mother fears what the repercussion of this action would be. “Menstruation” signifies the stepping stone for maturity and adulthood. It is the opening of a door that can lead to several different outcomes. “Don’t humiliate us” once again (like “must” in the opening line) shows the string of commands given to Kingston by her mother. The use of such a short sentence made of only three words almost implies a threat. It is straightforward and right to the point. One can then assume the mother was very authoritative and candid. “Forgotten” reflects the title of “No Name Woman” the fact that she doesn’t have no name, signifies the absence of her life. The mother uses the phase of “Never been born” as a reminder to Kingston of how quickly ones’ life can be erased without remorse. “You wouldn’t like to be forgotten as if you had never been born” acts as both a statement and a rhetorical question for Kingston to reflect upon. Even though there is an absence of a question mark, it can be interpreted as a
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