The Woman Warrior

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The Woman Warrior

Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrior discusses her and her mother Brave Orchid's relationship. On the surface, the two of them seem very different however when one looks below the surface they are very similar. An example of how they superficially seem different is the incident at the drug store when Kingston is mortified at what her mother makes her do. Yet, the ways that they act towards others and themselves exemplifies their similarities at a deeper level. Kingston gains many things from her mother and becomes who she is because of Brave Orchid, "Rather than denying or suppressing the deeply embedded ambivalence her mother arouses in her, Kingston unrelentingly evokes the powerful presence of her mother, arduously and often painfully exploring her difficulties in identifying with and yet separating from her" (Quinby, 136). Throughout Maxine Hong Kingston's autobiography Kingston disapproves of numerous of her mother's qualities however begins to behave in the same manner.

One of the most apparent ways that young Kingston and Brave Orchid are similar is the way they insist that people do as they say. Brave Orchid sends for her sister Moon Orchid to come to America from China. When she arrives, Brave Orchid tells Moon Orchid that she must go and face her husband even though Moon Orchid does not want to, "How dare he marry somebody else when he has you? How can you sit there so calmly? He would've let you stay in China forever. I had to send for your daughter, and I had to send for you" (Kingston, 125). Brave Orchid does not allow Moon Orchid to leave without confronting her husband and makes her see that this all is for her well being. When Kingston enc...

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...o their past and culture, which was before a huge issue between them. They are aware of their certain differences and know that they can only go to show how comparable they are in other areas, "Kingston eventually sees the similarities between herself and her mother" (Ling, 179).

Works Cited

Cheung, King-Kok. Articulate Silences. Ithaca: Cornell University Press,


Ho, Wendy. In Her Mother's House: The Politics of Asian American Mother-

Daughter Writing. Walnut Creek: AltaMira Press, 1999.

Huntley, E.D. Maxine Hong Kingston: A Critical Companion. Westport,

Greenwood Press, 2001.

Kingston, Maxine Hong. The Woman Warrior. New York: Random House,


Ling, Amy, Lee Quinby, etal. Critical Essays on Maxine Hong Kingston. New

York: G.K. Hall and Company, 1998.
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