No Name Women

1007 Words5 Pages
Cultures can shape the identities of individuals. Kingston identity was shape by Chinese and Chinese American culture. "No Name Woman," begins with a talk-story, about Kingston’ aunt she never knew. The aunt had brought disgrace upon her family by having an illegitimate child. In paragraph three, “she could not have been pregnant, you see, because her husband had been gone for years” (621). This shows that Kingston’s aunt had an affair with someone and the result was her pregnancy. She ended up killing herself and her baby by jumping into the family well in China. After hearing the story, Kingston is not allowed to mention her aunt again. The ideas of gender role-play an important role in both cultures. Kingston in her story “No Name Woman” describes some of the gender roles and expectations both women and men had to abide. Some of the gender roles in Kingston story have a semblance with the contemporary American culture. Kingston uses the story of her aunt to show the gender roles in China. Women had to take and respect gender roles that they were given. Women roles they had to follow were getting married, obey men, be a mother, and provide food. Women had to get married. Kingston states, “When the family found a young man in the next village to be her husband…she would be the first wife, an advantage secure now” (623). This quote shows how women had to get married, which is a role women in China had to follow. Moreover, marriage is a very important step in women lives. The marriage of a couple in the village where Kingston’s aunt lived was very important because any thing an individual would do would affect the village and create social disorder. Men dominated women physically and mentally. In paragraph eighteen, “they both gav... ... middle of paper ... ...ped her punishment; however, she became pregnant in terrible times – people leaving the country in order to send money for food. Kingston states, “Adultery became a crime when the village needed food” (627). Meaning adultery in excellent times was not looked upon but in awful times, it was. In American culture adultery in moral standards is always look up in any situation. The similarity is that in Chinese and American culture morals are priority and it depends on how society in those cultures define morals. Kingston’s “No Name Woman” is a story that revolves around morals, society and family expectations, and women role in society. Kingston writes the story of her aunt that committed suicide in China and she has never heard of until her mother spoke of her once. The purpose of Kingston story is to show women role in China and how women were trap in their society.
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