Woman Warrior

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade May 2001

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The silence of being a Chinese woman or a Chinese girl. Kingston brings home the traditional silence of herself and other little girls in the last chapter saying, "The other Chinese girls did not talk either, so I knew silence had to do with being a Chinese girl." The fact that this talk of silence comes after pages and pages of talk-story is significant I believe in the life of the author/narrator. Kingston chose this to be the after-thought, or the "what came before." We as readers know that she has talked-storied through a hundred or so pages, we know that she learned to speak out, (if even in her head), we know that she is not silent. So to bring up her silence, the tradition of her silence begins to weave a very subtle pattern through her book. We can see the obvious silence in the story of the aunt, the silence of the woman warrior of her gender, the silence of her mother-doctor as she kept her age and status to her self, and then as the young narrator enters American schools her silence through three long years.

"˜"Louder" said the teacher. Who scared the voice away.' Many women can relate to the teacher who scares away the voice just when we are beginning to use it. Many women can relate to Maxine's treatment of the tradition of silence. Even in mainstream American culture there is the idea that family business is not to be spoken of outside of the family. How many women have had a tradition of silence that allowed abuse, battery, and rape to go on for years? Whether Kingston intended to bring about this train of though is besides my point. I can use her writings to say that silence can be overcome. Not only on the classroom, but in all walks of life. "My aunt haunts me "“ her ghost drawn to me because now, after fifty years of neglect, I alone devote pages of paper to her"¦"