Silence In The Woman Warrior

613 Words3 Pages
Hsiu-chuan Lee discusses the criticism of The Woman Warrior by Maxine Kingston about the use of discursive community crossing the boundaries of genres/disciplines. Lee explains the different genre shifts in the novel to show how the different chapters contains myth, story, and memory as a way to develop different meaning. By analyzing the motif of silence, Lee reveals the Kingston’s intention of breaking the silence imposed by her mother through the various stories and how the silence emphasizes a difference between the mother and daughter. With the difference comes the various cultures mentioned in the story—Chinese, Chinese-American, and American—and the influence of these cultures on the characters in the novel. Lee also explains that…show more content…
The author provides further insight into the story as she analyzes how different characters share a common goal in the story, “need of self-assertion” (Lee 92). Though Kingston and her mother do not see eye to eye, they are similar in the way that they strive to assert their potentials to succeed when their culture sets females as inferior. In chapter two of the novel, Kingston narrates the legend of Fa Mu Lan, a woman warrior, as an assertion of capabilities of women to overcome struggles of weakness. Kingston seems to glorify the warrior woman for leading an army of men and defeating the enemy army through battles and hardships. Fa Mu Lan “inspired [her] army, and [she] fed them” (Kingston 37). However, Kingston also reveal that the warrior woman encounters her husband and they have a child. The story envelops society’s ideals of women as homemakers and Kingston’s ideals of women as strong, independent people of society. Although the author states “There are at least two reasons for Kingston to dislike the story of Fa Mu Lan” (Lee 96), it seems that Kingston personally relates to the story. Fa Mu Lan has words of revenge carved onto her back as an expression and reminder of her cause and the devastation of her village. Kingston wants to use words in writing to
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