✍️✍️✍️ Kingstons Struggle In The Woman Warrior
The first and most important conflict in the novel is heritage. The harsh criticisms and endless disapproval causes detrimental effects Kingstons Struggle In The Woman Warrior the Kingstons Struggle In The Woman Warrior, while O Brother, Where Art Thou? the same Kingstons Struggle In The Woman Warrior oh brave new world quote her strength to overcome this lifelong struggle by facing her mother. The story also helps her to discover more about her family lineage and the obligation a man should have to his wife, which is an apparent similarity between each culture. American ghosts may. In all her writings one Kingstons Struggle In The Woman Warrior see her search for her identity. This "melding" of the Kingstons Struggle In The Woman Warrior experiences Kingstons Struggle In The Woman Warrior the images and metaphors—is what makes Kingston's style her own.
AAWWTV: Maxine Hong Kingston with Monique Truong - 40th Anniversary of Woman Warrior
She wrote down anything—until some of it started falling into place. I wasn't that happy with either of those titles, I think that calling that book The Woman Warrior emphasizes 'warrior. In terms of Kingston's decision-making process in what to include and exclude from her story, she admits to using only what she deemed was "necessary" cultural imagery. She didn't want readers to approach her work as "exotic. Since its publication in , The Woman Warrior has maintained a "vexed reception history that both attests to its popularity and questions it.
Asian American scholars have expressed strong criticisms of The Woman Warrior. Writer Jeffery Paul Chan criticized Kingston for posing the book as non-fiction despite the many fictional elements of its stories. He stated that Kingston gave a distorted view of Chinese culture: one that is partially based on her own experience, but mostly fictional. Chan also noted Kingston's mistranslation of the Cantonese term, "ghost", and Benjamin R.
Tong, another Asian American writer, stated that this mistranslation was done deliberately to "suit white tastes so that her book would sell better. Tong further stated, based on The Woman Warrior' s fictionalized elements and inaccuracies about Chinese culture and history, that Kingston manipulates her white audience by giving them what they think is Chinese culture, which in reality is only a caricature based on Western stereotypes of Chinese people. Scholar Sheryl Mylan stated that Kingston constructs an Orientalist framework to separate herself from her mother and her culture, but in the process she replicates the ideologies of the American culture.
Professor Sau-Ling Cynthia Wong stated that Kingston's "Orientalist effect" is the result of Kingston's failure to commensurately critique the patriarchal values or institutional racism of Western society, resulting in a lopsided and biased commentary regarding Chinese culture. Among the most caustic criticisms was author and playwright Frank Chin 's, who accused Kingston of being "unChinese" and "a fake". In Kingston's defense, reviewer Deborah L.
Madsen claimed that this accusation showed Chin's tendency to privilege the low, working-class tradition of Chinese American writing as "authentic", which is not Kingston's tradition. Madsen claimed that autobiographical Chinese American writing is full of competing discourses that differ both culturally and racially, and as Chinese American writers seek both Chinese ethnicity and American citizenship, the result may be "a subversion of racial authenticity", which she believed to be the case with Kingston. In , Kingston herself wrote a rebuttal essay entitled "Cultural Mis-readings by American Reviewers" in which she disparaged her critics whom she believed were insisting she represent the Chinese to some standard of excellence.
The San Francisco Association of Chinese Teachers warned: "Especially for students unfamiliar with the Chinese background, [ The Woman Warrior ] could give an overly negative impression of the Chinese American experience. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the Maxine Hong Kingston memoir. For other uses, see Warrior woman disambiguation. Dewey Decimal. Literature portal. JSTOR Retrieved 9 June via the Internet Archive. Interview by Jody Hoy. Conversations With Maxine Hong Kingston. Skenazy and Martin. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, Canadian Review of American Studies. Project MUSE Acts of genre: literary form and bodily injury in contemporary Chicana and Asian American women's literature Thesis.
OCLC Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. Help Learn to edit Community portal Recent changes Upload file. Download as PDF Printable version. Wikimedia Commons. First edition. Maxine Hong Kingston. Challenging the definitions and boundaries of the autobiographical genre, Kingston blends fact and fiction, myth and reality, memory and history, childhood recollections and Chinese stories to create a supple enough medium to enable her to convey the trying experience of a young girl caught between two cultures and struggling with their competing claims and compelling imperatives upon her.
As a Chinese daughter she faces Chinese male chauvinism at home and as a Chinese - because of her visible Otherness resulting from her skin color and Chinese feature - white American racism outside. Different from the traditional Western autobiography with its unified and universal subject, ethnic autobiographies and autobiographies of diaspora explore "cross-cultural, diasporic identities" which are "constantly producing and reproducing themselves anew" Egan Simultaneously participating in the experience and values of two conflicting worlds, the Chinese daughter in America is "in transition, on borders, and in process" Crossing the borders between the Chinese home and the American world outside and between the Chinese past and American future, she negotiates cultural identity.
Shirley K. Rose sees The Woman Warrior as "a progression of highly dramatized narratives building on each other as they depict a mounting conflict between cultures" and maintains that Kingston employs "her autobiography as a way to bridge two cultures and their separate versions of reality" Her articulation of conflicting cultures and their versions of reality underline the positionality of reality and the possibility of multiple perspectives.
Debra Homsher calls The Woman Warrior a genuine "bridge between autobiography and fiction" Yet this bridge is not only of a generic kind; the narrative creates a bridge which enables its readers "to cross over to view, momentarily at least, their own cultures from the perspective of another" Rose As the bridge is a structure of transition enabling the inhabitants of each side to cross over the other, providing them with multiple positions and views, the building of it requires the invention of an identity always in transit, constantly in the making, never finalized. In the process of building this bridge through her narrative, Kingston learns to become a cultural interpreter and gradually transforms the painful experience of being trapped between two cultures to the enriching experience of being able to flow between cultures.
From an alienated girl-child she transforms into a woman artist who fights with her pen and sings her song to "foreign" music to create a transcending aesthetic experience resulting in synthesis and wholeness. Like most ethnic and multicultural autobiographical narratives, The Woman Warrior revolves around the development of an identity in which race and gender play central roles. Based on conflict between cultures and generations, it foregrounds the dynamic process of interaction between opposing cultures and succeeding generations. Identity is the ever-changing product in this process, for it is constantly negotiated between cultures and generations. The mother provides cultural narratives for her daughter, both historical and mythical, since storytelling, or "talkstory" 6 as she calls it, has been traditionally employed as a method of establishing ties and transmitting culture among generations of women.
Within a dominantly oral tradition, she is the keeper of stories and she dispenses them as she sees appropriate. The narrative emerges in a dialogic process as she tells her stories and her daughter responds to them by revising and rewriting them in the process of shaping a viable identity for a Chinese girl in America. While the mother seems to uphold patriarchal values, her narratives contain contradictory messages and can be interpreted subversively. The mother provides her daughter with two sets of stories to deal with: the stories of the women in the family and the mythic and historical stories of women in Chinese tradition. Accordingly, the book consists of five chapters.
Hence, these three chapters present stories of the women of previous generation. Coming to America in middle age, the mother had experienced physical and cultural displacement and she narrativizes the Chinese past from where she is presently placed, her narrative already shaped by her experience of displacement. Her identity is invented and her life is shaped in this process of translation and negotiation between cultures and generations. The opening chapter, "No Name Woman," is allegedly intended by the mother, Brave Orchid, as a warning for the new female generation against violating the laws of the fathers. However, while it seems to advise the daughter, who is the emerging woman since she "started to menstruate" Kingston 5 , against transgressions of any kind, particularly sexual, the narrative itself is an embodiment of transgression.
The aunt had then been denied by the family. Paradoxically, the opening sentence of the book, "You must not tell anyone. Her existence had been denied, her story had been left out of the public read as patriarchal and patrilineal family history, and her name had been erased from the familial memory. Your father does not want to hear her name. She has never been born," says the mother Together, they take her out of the well of forgetfulness. It also means to preserve her memory by committing it to paper and thus immortalizing her. Thus she claims her inheritance from this aunt by challenging paternal authority and violating its law of silence. She demonstrates that as a Chinese-American daughter constantly crossing borders that separate cultures, she does not need to know the name of the woman who "crossed boundaries not delineated in space" in order to claim her as her "forerunner" 9.
The first narrative centers on a young woman who committed adultery and suicide and the silence imposed on her. She is denied by her family and, since she cannot talk and is not talked about, she had been condemned to eternal silence. Her story comes to us indirectly through the voices of the women of her family who break the rule of "silence" in their own ways in accordance with the practices of their generations. The narrator explains the power of the original "folk story which has circulated in China for almost fifteen hundred years, The Ballad of Mulan " Shu , upon the Chinese girls: "we learned that we failed if we grew up to be but wives or slaves.
We could be heroines, swordswomen" The warrior woman is the embodiment of such power, wisdom, and glory that the narrator speculates: "Perhaps women were once so dangerous that they had to have their feet bound" Like the story of the "No Name Woman," the story of Fa Mu Lan, the woman warrior, was "given [the daughter] by [her] mother" The narrator remembers "two of us singing about how Fa Mu Lan fought gloriously and returned alive from war to settle in the village" She receives the story from her mother and revises it by inserting her voice and vision into the story.
She later leads an army of peasants to the capital, defeats all the tyrants, and finally returns home triumphant. At this point, she relinquishes her masculine powers and privileges and resumes her traditional duties as a Chinese woman. By reworking the myth of this legendary woman who can move between the public and the private domain so flowingly and who can be so perfectly fluent in both the masculine and the feminine roles, Kingston is providing another story of border-crossing. The narrator closes her revised narrative of Fa Mu Lan with a suggestion: "The swordswoman and I are not so dissimilar" The years during which Fa Mu Lan receives her challenging training with her wise mentors coincide with the years the narrator goes through her schooling in America trying to figure out who she is and experiencing "the tension in her life between her Chinese cultural heritage and the American reality in which she was forced to live her life" Cook Thus, the second chapter of the book, "White Tigers," unveils her desire to be a warrior woman and her motive is also exposed here: She seeks vengeance for "the silence imposed by traditional patriarchal societies on women" and for "the silence imposed in American culture on minority ethnic groups"; and "[t]he symbolic vengeance that Kingston wreaks in "White Tigers" encompasses both forms of repression" Cook At the beginning of her memoirs, the narrator states that it was "[her] mother who marked [her] growing with stories" 6.
Teaching her daughter the chant of a female hero, the mother suggests a range of possibilities to her which are never said openly to girls in Chinese culture. Like Fa Mu Lan, her mother has moved fluidly between domains and roles. After her husband leaves for America and her first two children dies, neither a wife nor a mother at that moment, she goes to a medical college for women at Canton.
Through hard work and intelligence, she does very well at school and gains herself a reputation for being "brilliant, a natural scholar" More importantly, being a "dragoness" 79 and "a strong woman" 83 , she heroically fights and defeats the ghost of traditionalism who tried to scare away "the new women, scientists who changed the rituals" at "the To Keung School of Midwifery" She leaves her village "ordinary" but, as one of the new women, goes back "miraculous" with her newly acquired knowledge and skills Thus, this is the chapter of recognition for the daughter: that her mother and she "are not so dissimilar" 62 after all and that, along with Fa Mu Lan, they both belong to the ranks of those warrior women.
If Fa Mu Lan is the swordswoman, the mother and the daughter are the words-women; even if they deploy different means, they fight against the same injustice and silence. Her reconciliation with her mother follows her recognition that her mother is also a fighter. In the finale of the chapter, on a visit to her aged-mother, who, like a physical indication of her accumulating experience and hard work, has become bigger as she grew older, and who finally accepts that "[her daughter] must go," the middle-aged daughter experiences a sense of both continuity and liberation simultaneously: "A weight lifted from me.
The world is somehow lighter. I am really a Dragon, as she is a Dragon, both of us born in dragon years. I am practically a first daughter of a first daughter" The chapter is told in the third person and it has a moral for Brave Orchid herself as well as all her daughters. Brave Orchid has been independent and assertive since the beginning. During the decade she was waiting for her husband to send for her, she uses the money he sends her to get medical training and later she builds up a successful career as a village doctor. Moon Orchid, on the other hand, is another silent woman who neither voices her own desires nor demands anything from her husband who "made her live like a widow" all through her life But she had never told him that she wanted to come to the United States.
She waited for him to suggest it, but he never did It was not that "Moon Orchid had misplaced herself" but it was Brave Orchid who had misplaced her when she manipulated her to leave her life in Hong Kong to come to America. Not only does the shaman of the previous chapter fail in healing her own sister but originally she is the one who causes her illness. When she attempts to impose Eastern mythology upon Western reality, she fails terribly and it is her sister Moon Orchid who dearly pays for it; instead of ending up "At the Western Palace" as intended by her elder sister, she ends up a mad woman at a mental asylum.
Coming to America as an old woman, Moon Orchid is not able to adopt her new "home" and survive its challenges. Moon Orchid comes to "the Western Palace" but she cannot reside there; neither can she replace her previous identity of the waiting wife with a valid new identity. Moon Orchid provides a negative but necessary role model for them.Through Kingstons Struggle In The Woman Warrior complicated life, the narrator gained the strength, Kingstons Struggle In The Woman Warrior, and experience Katherine Patersons Lyddie Essay allowed her to overcome numerous obstacles. Kingstons Struggle In The Woman Warrior collage proves to be liberating Kingstons Struggle In The Woman Warrior Kinston. She knows she can never break away from one culture without having to completely abandon the other.