"Woman Warrior", by Maxine Hong Kingston.

Essay by ephaniestHigh School, 11th gradeA, January 2006

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Aside from her actions, Maxine Hong Kingston isn't much more different than the woman she so greatly idolized. In her novel, "The Woman Warrior", Kingston expresses her desire for respect and support from her village. In the meantime, she ultimately puts Fa Mu Lan up on a pedestal as the ideal "warrior" she strives to be. From Mu Lan's story, Kingston hopes to find and live a parallel life to that of Mu Lan, one with a balance between her past and her future. Throughout the book, Kingston undergoes a significant transformation, from insecure and frustrated to a woman of acceptance and growth.

Like all great warriors, Kingston has a hidden strength that she uses to her advantage. Though not completely recognizable, Kingston's greatest strength is in her words. In the beginning, Kingston was accustomed to listening to her mother's talk-stories. Those same talk-stories had instilled a fear and insecurity in Kingston that held her back from her potential as an independent writer.

Surprisingly enough though, Kingston ends her novel with a talk-story that was once told by her mother, however, with a few personal touches. No doubt, Kingston thinks highly of the women who are able to tell talk-stories, because she immediately brags to Brave Orchid about her ability to tell talk-stories as well. Being able to tell her very own talk-story is by far one of Kingston's greatest victories.

Another woman known best for her victories is Fa Mu Lan, the same warrior woman that Kingston had shown particular interest in and aspired to be when she was younger. Fa Mu Lan was the sole heroine in Kingston's life, being the mother, wife and daughter that her family had adored, while also being the fierce warrior and commander of an army of thousands. Kingston not only...