Summary Of Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrior

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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. Because traditional Chinese culture is very patriarchal women became silent and voiceless in their lives. In the stories Maxine hears from a young age she realises this and as she gets older she
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She feels that by telling her aunt’s story she is giving her the voice she never had. We are given two versions of the story, the first being about the aunt as a rape victim and the second as a desiring object which was the oriental stereotype of how woman should be, silent and desired.
Again in ‘No Name Woman’ we see the patriarchal society that China had at the time, women were expected to do as a man told them and stay quiet including lying with him and being his secret evil. (14) No matter if it was a husband, father or stranger, a woman must always do as commanded. Their silence proved pivotal for the men too as seen with Maxine’s nameless
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