A general overview of Maxine Hong Kingston's "the Woman Warrior" done for an english class.

Essay by lilphil560College, UndergraduateA, April 2002

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Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrior is a book of blending cultures, and woman's rights. It vaguely ties five short stories and anecdotes to these themes. Kingston puts to use, a lot of symbolic figures in the book, and Chinese folk tales. The whole book revolves around the author, and her struggles with her gender, and nationality. The book starts out centered around Kingston's aunt and her baby in a story titled "No Name Woman", as told to Kingston by her mother, Brave Orchid. Brave Orchid describes to the young Kingston that the story is a secret to the family. She goes on into the story, speaking of the suicide of her Kingston's aunt, back in her village in China, her aunt became pregnant before she was married, and premarital sex was a major taboo in their culture. Nobody in the family acclaimed this pregnancy but everyone, including the villagers had noticed it.

One night the villagers, wearing masks, raided the families hut and destroyed goods, slaughtered their livestock, and destroyed the family's crop in punishment for the aunt. They could only stand back and watch in disbelief as the villagers pillaged their home. The aunt later gave birth to the baby in a pigsty, which was an allusion to old Chinese folk lore women who feared their babies to be taken by the gods would have them in a pigsty, where the gods would not take them. She later threw herself and the baby into the family well, where they were later found dead. Brave Orchid always referred to the aunt as the "no named aunt". The story was the mother's anecdote on premarital sex to Kingston and warned her of the results. The story set the major theme of the book, woman's worth in china. A nation...