Maxine Hong Kingston's novel, The Woman Warrior is a semi-autobiographical collection of short stories that chronicles her childhood in California. It gives the reader a feeling of how it feels like to be a Chinese American girl growing up with traditional parents in a world that is quite different from theirs. Throughout the novel, both she and her mother refer to the outside world as "ghosts." The subtitle given to the book is Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts. To figure out the meaning behind this subtitle, one has to try to see what Kingston means when she and her family use the term "ghost."
When people think of ghosts, it can be said that thoughts of death and non-existence come to mind. When this term is used in her family, it shows that the outside world is non-existent, or useless to them. Whenever a non-Chinese person is talked about, that person is referred to as "ghost." These non-Chinese people are strange to Kingston's family. Kingston's mother, Brave Orchid, has a slight disgust for ghosts of all sorts. In the chapter titled Shaman, she fights a ghost in one of the rooms of her medical school. The ghost is symbolic of everything that is, and will be, an obstacle to her. Fighting this threat to her and her friends, has given her the strength to live in a world where the women are deemed to be not as important as the men. It has also given her a reputation amongst her ...
... middle of paper ...
Kingston tells the reader a story of a Chinese poet by the name of Ts'ai Yen. She was captured by a rival tribe and lived with them for a while. Eventually, her captors, the barbarians, learned from her while she learned form them as well. Kingston writes, "She brought her songs back from the savage lands, and one of the three that has been passed down to us is Eighteen Stanzas for a Barbarian Reed Pipe,' A song that the Chinese sing to their own instruments. It translated well." This shows that Kingston acknowledges all the "ghosts" in her life. She has taken all of the stores she heard and all of the experiences she has went through, and used them to make her stronger.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Maxine Hong Kingston's Woman Warrior Food strengthens us, without it we are weak. Eating has always been an important factor with families living in poor conditions. Often, those who could not help to produce more food are considered inferior or unworthy to eat. Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrior is no exception, due to the relation it creates between eating and the strength of people. This is shown through the tale of Fa-Mu-Lan, the story of the eaters, and the references to the fellow relatives left in China.... [tags: Maxine Hong Kingston Woman Warrior Essays]
1187 words (3.4 pages)
- Impact of Chinese Heritage on Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrior "Haunted by the power of images. I do feel that I go into madness and chaos. There's a journey of everything falling apart, even the meaning and the order that I can put on something by the writing." —Maxine Hong Kingston It is true that some dream in color, and some dream in black and white. Some dream in Sonic sounds, and some dream in silence. In Maxine Hong Kingston's literary works, the readers enter a soundless dream that is painted entirely in the color of black—different shades and blocks of pigments mixing and clashing with each other, opening up infinite possibilities for both beautiful if frightening nightm... [tags: Maxine Hong Kingston Woman Warrior Essays]
2366 words (6.8 pages)
- Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrior Maxine Hong Kingston's novel, The Woman Warrior is a semi-autobiographical collection of short stories that chronicles her childhood in California. It gives the reader a feeling of how it feels like to be a Chinese American girl growing up with traditional parents in a world that is quite different from theirs.... [tags: Kingston Woman Warrior]
1314 words (3.8 pages)
- The theme of “voiceless woman” throughout the book “the woman warrior” is of great importance. Maxine Kingston narrates several stories in which gives clear examples on how woman in her family are diminished and silenced by Chinese culture. The author not only provides a voice for herself but also for other women in her family and in her community that did not had the opportunity to speak out and tell their stories. The author starts the book with the story of her aunt. This story was a well-kept family secret being that her aunt’s actions were of great disappointment to the family.... [tags: Maxine Kingston]
1032 words (2.9 pages)
- Maxine Hong Kingston's No Name Woman A person's identity cannot be given to her, instead a person must achieve a sense of her character through personal experience and self-reflection. In "No Name Woman", Maxine Hong Kingston recalls the events of her aunt's life in the vague world of her Chinese roots. The story of her aunt is told by her mother and Kingston recreates the events into an exploratory story to help herself figure out what part of her identity is Chinese and help her better understand the Chinese culture.... [tags: Kingston's Autobiography No Name Woman]
1394 words (4 pages)
- The Woman Warrior is a compelling novel written by Maxine Hong Kingston. The novel won National Book Critics Circle Award for nonfiction after receiving a great deal of praise from critics. In her novel, Kingston utilizes various literary elements to reveal the theme. Through the use of conflict, symbolism, and characterization, the message behind the theme becomes prominent to readers. The use of conflict gives readers a vivid screening of the role women played in the Chinese society. The symbols that are portrayed in novel, make the message of the theme more evident to readers.... [tags: talk story, no-name woman]
1064 words (3 pages)
- Maxine Hong Kingston's Woman Warrior - No Name Woman The excerpt, "No Name Woman", from Maxine Hong Kingston's book, Woman Warrior, gives insight into her life as a Chinese girl raised in America through a tragic story of her aunt's life, a young woman raised in a village in China in the early 1900s. The story shows the consequences beliefs, taught by parents, have on a child's life. Kingston attempts to figure out what role the teachings of her parents should have on her life, a similar attempt for many of us in the world.... [tags: Woman Warrior Kingston Essays Papers]
735 words (2.1 pages)
- In the novel The Woman Warrior Maxine Hong Kingston uses ghosts to represent a battle between American and Chinese cultures. The two cultures have different views of what a ghost is. The Chinese believe the ghost spirits may be of people dead or alive. Chinese culture recognizes foreigners and unfamiliar people as ghosts because, like American ghosts, they are mysterious creatures of the unknown. Americans view ghosts as spirits of the dead that either help or haunt people. American ghosts may or may not be real.... [tags: Kingston Woman Warrior]
1199 words (3.4 pages)
- Maxine Hong Kingston's No Name Woman "A highly fictive text [whose non-fiction label gives] the appearance of being an actual representation of Asian American experience in the broader public sphere." (Gloria Chun, "The High Note") Such a disparaging remark about the misleading nature of Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrior has been readily refuted, notably by Leilani Nishime, who proposes in her essay "Engendering Genre..." that it is a text that transcends genre confines; it challenges traditional definitions of genre and demands redefinitions.... [tags: Chinese Society Oppression Essays]
1616 words (4.6 pages)
- Quest for Identity in Maxine Hong Kingston's Autobiography, The Woman Warrior Maxine Hong Kingston's autobiography, The Woman Warrior, features a young Chinese-American constantly searching for "an unusual bird" that would serve as her impeccable guide on her quest for individuality (49). Instead of the flawless guide she seeks, Kingston develops under the influence of other teachers who either seem more fallible or less realistic. Dependent upon their guidance, she grows under the influence of American and Chinese schools and the role models of Brave Orchid, Fa Mu Lan, and Moon Orchid.... [tags: Kingston Woman Warrior Essays]
2254 words (6.4 pages)