Silence and storytelling are pivotal themes that run throughout in Maxine Hong Kingston’s ‘The Woman Warrior.’ They are themes that coincide with each other in a major impactful way on both Maxine as the author, the characters she writes about and the audience who reads her stories. Kingston shows the important consequences of being silent in society and how telling stories can break through these moulds that patriarchal societies once set up for women not only in Chinese culture but relating all over the world in a way that also helps readers gain an insight into their own cultural legacy. Telling stories is a tradition that has been around for centuries and the passing on of family stories is of extreme importance for our own sense of identity. It also leaves a person with a cultural identity as seen in ‘The Woman Warrior’ by Maxine Hong Kingston. Maxine’s mother, Brave Orchid, tells her many stories in her native tongue, Chinese, and these stories show patriarchal interdictions and warnings.
One of the important characters in the “The Chinese Seamstress” is the narrator, who is not only vital because he is the main character but also because he goes through a lot of development and evolution based of the narratives he reads. Four eyes, the narrators friend, had a stash of foreign books that he had received from his mother that were banned
Joseph Campbell's definition of a hero’s journey can be seen across many characters in the novel, The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan. In order to meet this definition, one must overcome three stages: the department, the fulfilment, and the return. Tan depicts Jing-mei Woo as a shell of a woman who is forced to take up the footprints of her late mother. She then learns the meaning of family and is able to fulfil her mother’s dying wish by resurrecting her past life in China, which allows her to complete Campbell's definition of a hero’s journey. Jing-mei’s call to adventure is different from others in the novel; Jing-mei is thrown into her journey by losing her mother and learning her long lost twin sisters, Chwun Yu and Chwun Hwa, from China are still alive.
.” (Kogawa 297). This appeal lead to reinstatement of citizenship for Japanese-Canadians and a formal apology from the Canadian government. Throughout the novel The Joy Luck Club, Jing-Mei Woo struggles with her sense of identity and belonging in a community as she is often embarrassed of her heritage, and prefers to live her life in the shadows. However, at the end of the book, Jin-mei finds peace when she seeks her roots and sisters in China. She finally finds her inner Chinese that she described is “in your blood waiting to be let go” (Tan 306).
She then continues to say that the second sister “relinquished her name, diluting jade green with the blue of the Pacific” which shows that the second sister rebelliously rejected her culture and migrated to America. The entire stanza is very figurative and uses metaphoric words. All in all, the poet presents the life experience of the first sister in China more literally while life experience of the second sister in America is more
A poem based on the poet’s experiences wherein the persona - a multiracial teenager - struggles to reconnect with her birthplace, is ‘Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan’ by Moniza Alvi. The persona’s unresolved conflict of her identity, being Pakistani and British, arises when she is given cultural gifts from her aunts in Pakistan whilst living an English lifestyle. Thus, this inner conflict evokes a sense of confusion within the persona, causing her to feel disconnected from both cultures. This essay focuses on the structure and meaning of the poem, understanding the context, and how the persona’s confused perception is conveyed - firstly, through the spiral form of the poem, and by Alvi’s uses of poetic techniques such as: colour imagery, irony, metaphors, effective word choice, and key phrases. To begin with, Alvi narrates the persona’s initial thoughts on the ‘salwar kameez’ with the
The Woman Warrior is a “memoir of a girlhood among ghosts” in which Maxine Hong Kingston recounts her experiences as a second generation immigrant. She tells the story of her childhood by intertwining Chinese talk-story and personal experience, filling in the gaps in her memory with assumptions. The Woman Warrior dismantles the archetype of the typical mother-daughter relationship by suggesting that diaspora redefines archetypes by combining conflicting societal norms. A mother’s typical role in a mother-daughter relationship is one of guidance and leadership. Parents are responsible for teaching a child right from wrong and good from evil.
Diana Lu, born in the time of a dark and confused period MaoZeDong’s Cultural Revolution in China was forced to leave their comfortable homes and middle class life in the city. She is a person who inspires others through her life story that she shared in this book “Daughter of the Yellow River, passionate and determined to create a better life for herself after all the struggles she’ve been through in her childhood days she had decided to have a life based on her own talents and dreams. She describes herself as a daughter of the yellow river, considered the mother river of China, being born, raised, and educated in CHina, she was shaped by the culture and traditions of that great land. Chapter Summary Chapter 1 ( Coal Mining Village) In the time of MaoZeDong’s Cultural Revolution in China, families like Diana Lu’s were being uprooted from their homes and were forced to relocate long distances away into a remote rural place filled with poverty and despair. It was a devastating experience that their family had been through, her parents fought constantly because of the result of fear, hopelessness, and paranoia they were experiencing.
The Love and Future of Jane in Evelyn Lau’s “The Apartments” Evelyn Lau’s “The Apartments”, written in 1993, resembles her personal experiences as a Chinese runaway in the 1980s era of Vancouver, British Columbia. Although written as fictional, Jane’s imagery and situation may very well be inspired by Lau’s personal experiences working as a prostitute and includes historical and cultural context. Through Jane’s narration, references, and mentality, the short story puts emphasis on a generalized perception of traditional roles and the feeling of isolation. Ultimately, “The Apartments” insists that people who obsessively fantasize about the future will eventually have their goals fall short as they rush their current decisions in the present moment. Canada has historically been a deeply multicultural country built off of immigrants.
The woman warrior was an interesting novel of memoirs that gave her audience a new perspective on feminine values, and while there might have been various themes throughout this book, the main focus revolved around Kingston's femininity and struggles of finding one's own, personal voice. Throughout its five chapters there are numerous references to her everyday emotional and physical struggles of growing up as a chinese woman. Kingston's implementation of literary devices, such characterization, metaphors, and symbolism are used in order to brilliantly set the theme in The Woman Warrior. At the beginning of this novel, Kingston’s first chapter “No Name Woman”the entire family is silenced with secrecy, because of an aunt who had not only disgraced her family, but the entire village, when she became pregnant by someone other than her husband, who has been absent in her life for years. This shameful deed drives the woman into committing suicide soon after childbirth by throwing
In the novel “A Tale For The Time Being” by Ruth Ozeki, Ruth, a writer, finds a diary washed up by the sea. In the diary, 16-year-old Japanese girl Naoko Yasutani attempts to write about the story of her Zen Buddhist grandmother but soon gets distracted by her life events. Throughout the novel, Ruth Ozeki had created the character Ruth and Nao to make reading and writing a huge part of their lives that deeply affected them in many ways. Ruth reads the diary, she gets deeply drawn into Nao’s life that it affected her sense of reality her mental state of well-being but also sparked interest of zazen. Nao, on the other hand, had plan to write about Jiko making it her reason to continue living and her duty before she killed herself and Jiko died.
The inspirational civil rights activist Marcus Garvey once stated that, “A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin, and culture is like a tree without its roots.” Garvey’s words perfectly describe the themes of cultural loss and family conflict that appear in the novels The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan and Nectar in a Sieve by Kamala Markandaya. Both of these novels use a fictional story inspired by the author 's life to analyze the larger issue and theme of cultural loss. In The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan writes sixteen vignettes about the four Chinese mother-daughter families that struggle with the cultural and generational gap that arises between first generation immigrant mothers and their contrasting Americanized daughters.
When Jing-Mei started her journey to China she remembers a time where she had rejected her culture. Afterword, when she arrived she was linguistically challenged. Later when she understood a bit about her culture she asked her father to tell her mother’s story in their native language. “Your mother running away’- begins my father ‘No tell me in Chinese’ I interrupt ‘Really I can understand” (157) After hearing her mother story Jing-Mei understands what she meant when she was fifteen, “Someday you 'll see…It is in your blood, waiting to be let go.” (149) Jing-Mei has a much better understanding of her family history and Chinese roots than she did when she started her
The parts in the mother’s point of views are most likely all of Daisy Li’s memories of her life that she had told Amy Tan. The parts in the daughters point of views are more recent memories Amy Tan has of her times as a young adult and lessons learned from her mother. A great deal of the book is based off of Daisy Li’s life. For example, An-mei Hsu, said “I know this, because I was raised the Chinese way: I was taught to desire nothing, to swallow other people’s misery, to eat my own bitterness.” (Tan, Page 215) Tan’s mother taught her to be strong and independent that is really what that quote is all about. To be strong and independent you have to be able to take care of not only yourself, but the people you care for.