Fa Mu Lan's The Woman Warrior

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Even though each Woman Warrior affects Kingston differently, they each have their own distinct role in the novel. The “No Name Woman,” for example, could be in the story because Kingston struggled having a childhood between both Eastern and Western culture. A literary analysis on The Woman Warrior states “The Woman Warrior’s endurance in a beautiful, harsh, imaginary landscape attests her superhuman strength. No Name Woman, the facts of whose life are sparse, is described in the romantic cliches that Kingston derived in her childhood from both Eastern and Western culture” (Pollock 2). Despite Kingston’s life being vastly different compared to the “No Name Woman,” she can relate to her because both feel lost within their respective cultures, …show more content…

Perhaps the fiercest of the group, there are differing opinions as to her purpose in the novel. An analysis on the novel written by a different author interprets her role as one who rights wrongs. “Fa Mu Lan serves as a central inspiration for Maxine who, in her imagination, becomes the woman warrior fighting battles to right the wrongs perpetrated against her people. Although she fantasizes that she is like the woman warrior who fights tyrants, Maxine acknowledges her own limitations in her everyday life; when she attempts to challenge her boss’s racist comments, he simply ignores her “bad, small-person’s voice” (Stanley 1). Stanley believes that Fa Mu Lan is someone who Kingston wishes to be, a warrior that can represent all Chinese women. She also thinks that Kingston realizes she can never be like Fa Mu Lan, and uses her failure when challenging her boss as primary evidence of …show more content…

Others feel that Fa Mu Lan and Brave Orchid’s stories are meant to intertwine. “In her memoirs, Kingston tells of her search for women role models, interweaving imaginative stories concerning such characters as Fa Mu Lan, a Chinese woman warrior, with memories of her own relationship with her strong-willed mother, Brave Orchid” (Franks 2). Franks’ belief in the similarities between Brave Orchid and Fa Mu Lan suggest that each Woman Warrior is connected, and that each one has a different purpose in the story. With Franks supporting the idea that Brave Orchid and Fa Mu Lan are similar, she has an interesting addition to her analysis. “Even now,” Kingston says, “China wraps double binds around my feet.” She realizes that, unlike Fa Mu Lan, she dislikes armies and she cannot save her relatives from the horrors they experience in China. She can, nonetheless, use words — both Chinese and English — to fight the devaluation of females” (Franks 3). Here, Franks uses a quote from the novel, which references foot binding. It is important because it details Kingston’s inner emotions. She feels that (although footbinding was long ago outlawed) China still has binds around her feet, which can symbolize her fervent inner frustration that she still witnessed injustices against her at a time when feminism and women empowerment was at an

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