Declarative Sentences In The Woman Warrior

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Throughout the modern world, women fight to gain equality in all settings of life. Maxine Hong Kingston, in an effort to portray this struggle through a series of carefully interwoven stories, blurs the line between both fictional and nonfictional struggles in The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts. Kingston’s use of declarative sentences, active voice, and effective variation of speech successfully manages to continuously engage the reader in The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts, while adding a personal touch throughout the story. Kingston’s use of declarative sentences highlights the stereotypes women face while simultaneously contextualizing information for the reader. Macauley and Lanning claim that “a string of declarative sentences”, especially when “built of cliches”, quickly become boring (Macauley and Lanning 58). These sentences have the effect of creating an impersonal situation devoiding the reader from a personal response. Kingston’s use of declarative sentences, however, aim to do exactly that. Kingston describes how her aunt was driven to commit suicide because the baby she was having was a girl, while for boys “there is some hope of…show more content…
Active voice serves as a way for a character to speak with “a slowly growing ability” and a “voice of his own” (Macauley and Lanning 64). In this sense, the active voice allows for both character development (a slowly growing ability), and individual character expression (voice of his own). This is shown when Kingston goes from stating “I’ll stay with you” to “ I praised the new infants” (Kingston 23,33). The shift in active voice characterizes a shift from a dependent Kingston to a strong independent Kingston capable of looking after others. The use of the active voice not only provides an outlet for Kingston to speak through, but also catalyzes her character
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