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Women’s Power to Change in No Name Woman, Maxine Hong Kingston

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Throughout the years poverty has played an important role in changing traditions and cultures. Poverty has changed the role of women and their ways of thinking. In “No Name Woman”, Maxine Hong Kingston showed an example of how poverty changed the responsibilities of women in a small village in China. According to the narrator’s mother, the women in this Chinese village, during the twentieth century, were to get married for one night and then all the men leave to America, to work there and send money home. The need for money gave women no choice but to obey. They did not choose whether they want their men to leave them or not. They were not asked if they wanted to get married or not. Because women could not go through the pain of hunger, coldness or traveling to a new country, they were viewed as weak creatures, which did nothing in life but following orders. No Name Woman tried to change how women are being viewed, but in fact she was not strong enough to change the village’s traditions. No Name Woman’s fear from the people paralyzed her thoughts and made her believe that she will never get a second chance. No Name Woman was irresponsible she ran away from her duty towards her family and her child. No Name Woman thought that by killing herself she is punishing the villagers and her family for treating her badly, but in fact she was punishing herself.

No Name Woman’s fear destroyed her life and proved her weak nature. No Name Woman’s suicide proved her inability to handle the accusations and the punishment from her society; she was desperate, scared and she could not face the villagers or her family “She ran out into the fields, far enough from the house so that she could no longer hear their voices” (Kingston 31). No Name Woman ...

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...amily’s deliberately forgetting her” (33). She let her family punish her for something that she might have not done.

No Name Woman might have the strength to change her life, but she could not use this strength. Her fear of people, future, and commitment drove her to run away from everything. She did not give herself a second chance, which she deserved. She let the people decide what they wanted to do for her, but she did not choose what she wanted to do to herself. She forgot that she had a duty towards her child and her family and decided to run away from all her problems. Killing herself seemed to her as a better option that facing everyone and defending herself. All of that proved her that she could not fight back because of her weak personality.

Works Cited

Kingston, Maxine Hong. The Woman Warrior: No Name Woman. Vintage books, 1975.
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