Identity In Maxine Hong Kingston's Woman Warrior

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American culture values self-reliance and expressing one’s self; “‘if you don’t talk, you can’t have a personality’” (180). By contrast, Chinese culture praises the silent and values community disposition. In Maxine Hong Kingston’s memoir Woman Warrior, the narrator must learn to combine the present of the American world while simultaneously blending the past of the Chinese culture brought upon by her parents. Kingston uses Maxine’s experiences to illustrate that children often lose their voice and repress their sense of self when the older generation’s beliefs contradict to their surroundings. This struggle makes the child feel forced to conform, but will one day accept their identity. Kingston contrasts Maxine’s American education with stories…show more content…
“Looked straight ahead” means not reacting to an occurring event, with cognizance of the situation. Thus, allowing it to happen. Maxine’s mother implicates to Maxine that her actions don’t just affect her but her entire lineage, the family name’s importance exceeds the individual. This implies that Maxine’s ancestral ghosts watch over her, ghost being a recurring motif in Woman Warrior. The word “ghost” has a different connotation depending on which mentioned perspective. Remembered ghosts live like gods; receiving rewards for loyalty to their family’s echelon. They become part of the ancestors that watch the next generation and punish betrayers by having them homeless in the afterlife. Maxine hung onto the story afterwards and questioned the plot holes, showing her mother’s expectations of her fearing the story and acting in accordance to it did not succeed. For Maxine, the Chinese culture proffers ghosts and fabrication while the American culture offers materiality. In school, Maxine got into an argument with

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