No Name Woman

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“No Name Woman”, by Maxine Hong Kingston is the first chapter from Kingston’s collection of memoirs in “The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts.” Kingston ceases the family-imposed silence that surrounds the secret of an aunt, whom she names No Name Woman. This no name aunt of hers became pregnant by a man that was not her husband. She committed the crime of adultery. The No Name Woman declines to make public the name of the man of who impregnated her. Thus keeping her silence. Her family and friends what nothing to do with her anymore. She is now a cast out, alone in a world that is very harsh. She is voiceless in this world. Kingston theorizes how her aunt became pregnant, and by putting forth this effort to write about her aunt’s agony filled story she gives her a voice, a voice that echoes and sheds light on important issues. Naming her aunt No Name Woman gives her the chance to honor her memory. This story was written to vindicate her aunt from the condemnation and criticism of her family. Since it is written in in a cultural context she gives way for the readers to have sympathy for her aunt, and understand the trial that she as a woman had to undergo. Feminist criticism is a form of literary criticism, which studies and advocates for the needed rights of women. It is specifically concerned with"...the ways in which literature (and other cultural productions) reinforce or undermine the economic, political, social, and psychological oppression of women" (Tyson). "Feminist criticism is a political act whose aim is not simply to interpret the world but to change it by changing the consciousness of those who read and their relation to what they read." (Feminist Literary Theory: A Reader, 293) In order to use Fem... ... middle of paper ... ...ere the ones running the household, becoming “hewers of wood and drawers of water” (Joshua 9:27). Were they not useful? Were they not the ones preforming male-dominant activities? In that I digress. One can say that “No Name Woman” is a demonstration of a writer writing as her own single entity not as a male influenced persona. Kingston’s creative process is heightened by the fact that she was brought up in a culture that suppresses women all throughout history. She is determined to shed light on the multiple issues at hand. She raises a lot of issues on status of women in this unfair world. She also brings to light the Chinese culture and its views on women and also condemns the sexism in this culture. There is no better way to understand the Feminist Literary Criticism lens, but through a story that raises issues prevalent in society today and in history.
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