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A Brief Analysis on The Woman Warrior

The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts (1976), was written by a Chinese-American author named, Maxine Hong Kingston. It is said to relate the “real” stories of Kingston’s life. (Wiley Publishing.

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It tells about the clash of culture between Chinese and American, which is why this book became very interesting. As a Chinese who was born and grew up in America, she was exposed to “American culture.”

Americans are more liberal; men and women have equal rights to everything, and they live a very advanced, fast paced life. But it wasn’t easy at all for Kingston, because she was bounded by the rules of Chinese culture enforced by her mother, who in the story, is named, Brave Orchid.

Brave Orchid refused to adapt American culture, and she sees good traditional values of Chinese as ideal, so she made her children learn English instead. In order for the children to become flexible to speak the English language, she had their tongues “cut.” (Passage 3.).

So Kingston grew up with a very strong-willed mother, and this made her hate the “weak side” of females; she even confronted a Chinese girl for not speaking when told to speak. (Passage 5). She thinks that being “silent and weak” to show femininity of Chinese women is totally pathetic. (Passage 4).

Being Americanized, she wanted to be strong, to be equal with men, and to be free from the rigid culture of her origin. She doesn’t want to end up like her nameless aunt who killed herself and her baby because she committed adultery. She must have been a rape victim and there are other ways to solve her problem. Worst part is, the weakness of Chinese women is shown because her aunt was treated as if she never existed. (Passage 1.)

Her nameless aunt gave her the inspiration to write The Woman Warrior, because it haunted her. (Passage 2). In order for Kingston to appreciate her origin and the American culture she loves, she made a song to unite both culture as a way to remind herself to be grateful of both. (Passage 6). Everyone of us has his or her own origin. We can just learn to accept our heritage because it is a part of us. Our origin is our blood and we are identified distinctly because of it.

There are a lot of ways to positively infuse the culture of origin into the new culture we live in because of continuous evolution of humans. There’s nothing wrong with adapting a modernized culture as long as the moral values of one’s origin is kept as guidance to act ethically.