Woman Warrior Letter

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2008

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After reading The Woman Warrior, I had a lot of questions. First of all, some of these questions were a result of the unfamiliar structure of the novel. I was confused by the many stories told in the memoir. When I read them as separate stories, I could not see a point to all of them; I did not notice how and if they were connected and I did not understand why Kingston was telling them. Since they did not directly relate to her life, I could not see their purpose, and they plain out confused me. But I think that she did this for that purpose- for the reader to struggle along with the protagonist and for the reader to become confused just as the story-teller is.

Two things that confuse me is how the narrator jumped back and forth between viewpoints and also time periods. For example, she jumps between the point of view of Brave Orchid, Fa Mu Lan, and the protagonist.

I found it interesting that her memoir was made up of the stories of others. Then I noticed that the protagonist often credited these stories to others and just hinted that some of the notions were creations of her imagination. I think Kingston uses this technique to hint to the reader that the protagonist is defining herself in the terms of others; except in the last section when she finally speaks for herself.

2 Another part of the memoir’s structure that added to my confusion was the fact that I did not know what the overall plot was. Since I did not know the ultimate point the author was getting to, it confused me when she moved between different periods in time with different stories. The combination of these “foreign” writing techniques made it...