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.
In the tale of Fa-Mu-Lan, the narrator is given a survival test, where she has to survive a mountain trek without provisions. During that trek, the narrator finds herself weary from hunger. Hunger brings out her animal instincts, because she needs to stay strong to live. 'On the fourth and fifth days, my eyesight sharp with hunger, I saw deer and used their trails when our ways coincided. Where deer nibbled, I gathered the fungus, the fungus of immortality'; (25). The narrator is forced to search for her food to eat. The hungrier she becomes, the more feral she is. Meat also played a role in the connection between food and strength. During the beginning of her story she claimed she no longer needed meat. After she became starving, she breaks down and eats meat. '…I saw the rabbit had sacrificed itself for me. It had made me a gift of meat'; (26). Her will was eroded by the hunger because as her hunger increased, she became weaker and her resolve was easier to destroy. When the narrator was not starving she was in control of her faculties. Hunger however, strips her even of vision, as she imagines things that do not exist. The narrator says, 'Hunger also changes the world when eating can't be habit, then neither can seeing. I saw two people made of gold dancing the earth's axis'; (27). Viewing two gold dancers would be wonderful to witness, however the chances are very slim. The hunger had weakened her to the point of confusion, and possibly dilution. Just as hunger weakens a person so they cannot command themselves, eating will make a person powerful and the masters of others.
The stories of the heroes who ate heaping amounts of food illustrate that those who can eat have extraordinary powers. The narrator says before, that her mother is powerful';…because she can eat anything – quick, pluck out the carp's eyes, one for...
... middle of paper ...
..., yet Kingston continues to reference the topic throughout the book. In the chapter At the Western Place, Brave Orchid meets her sister Moon Orchid at the airport.
''…you're so skinny.'
'You're so fat.'
'Fat women are more beautiful than skinny women''; (118).
Brave Orchid's bitterness toward American culture influenced the narrator. Fat carried not only excess lipids, it carried wealth and power in Brave Orchid's opinion. Women were more beautiful with fat because wealth enabled them to achieve their 'beauty';. The incessant use of references between strength and eating throughout the book show the narrator was influenced is some manner. The product of the influence may not have been a fat woman, but a woman educated in two cultures.
Eating is vitally important in the memoir The Woman Warrior. It is regarded as a sign of strength in the book. That point is shown through Fa-Mu-Lan, the story of heroes, and through relatives in China. With those, Kingston became educated in two differing cultures, possibly influenced by both. The connection between hunger and strength is well known throughout the ages, as the old military adage states, 'An Army marches on its stomach.';
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Imagination is a quality that everyone has, but only some are capable of using. Maxine Hong Kingston wrote “No Name Woman” using a great deal of her imagination. She uses this imagination to give a story to a person whose name has been forgotten. A person whose entire life was erased from the family’s history. Her story was not written to amuse or entertain, but rather to share her aunts’ story, a story that no one else would ever share. The use of imagination in Kingston’s creative nonfiction is the foundation of the story.... [tags: Family, Woman, Maxine Hong Kingston, Culture]
1464 words (4.2 pages)
- Subjugation a Leader to Rebellious Behaviors In today’s society, women are still viewed differently than men, with big gaps between them that prevent women from gaining their independence. Women are expected to follow the men’s steps and to obey them. Women are capable of doing everything that men can do, but the media plays a hug role is setting expectations to women. Women are mainly judged by the way they look, and are expected to be beautiful, skinny, and perfect; leaving many other women unable to fit into their society and it’s expectations.... [tags: Gender, Woman, Maxine Hong Kingston, Infant]
1651 words (4.7 pages)
- 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)
- The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston portrays the complicated relationship between her and her mother, while growing up as a Chinese female in an American environment. She was surrounded by expectations and ideals about the inferior role that her culture imposed on women. In an ongoing battle with herself and her heritage, Kingston struggles to escape limitations on women that Chinese culture set. However, she eventually learns to accept both cultures as part of who she is. I was able to related to her as a Chinese female born and raised in America.... [tags: Family, Hong Kong, The Woman Warrior]
728 words (2.1 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)
- 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)