The Woman Warrior Summary

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China is known as one of the most conservative countries in the world, where people have a tightly closed mindset about topics like sexuality, especially when applied to women. In such patriarchal society, oppression and punishment towards women are used to regulate social order. In “No Name Woman”, the introductory chapter from Maxine Hong Kingston’s book called “The Woman Warrior”, a mother’s storytelling to her daughter is much more than a simple bedtime fairytale. It is a tragic story about the no name aunt who took her own life away for being impregnated by a man who is not her husband. The use of silence in this story helps to maintain a cultural stability in the Chinese traditional views about women’s sexuality. From one generation…show more content…
Indeed, the no name aunt has been “forgotten as if [she] had never been born” (455). Her crime of being impregnated by another man who is not her husband has caused a shame to the family, because the villagers view such sin to be inacceptable in the community. Even though the narrator wants to know more about her aunt’s story, “[i]n twenty years since [she] heard this story [she has] not asked for details nor said [her] aunt’s name” (463). Through remaining silent, the family did not want to remember the existence of such person who has transgressed the traditions pre-established in an extremely conservative society, because when the villagers raided the house, the aunt is not the only person being punished. The entire family’s dignity has been destroyed as a consequence of a single offence. Moreover, the silence did not only come from the family and the villagers. From the moment when the no name woman decides to “[run] out into the fields, far enough from the house so that she could no longer hear their voices”, she has decided to turn herself into “one of the stars […] without home, without a companion, in eternal cold and silence” (462). For the family, she became a dead woman, a ghost that will be perpetually haunting them. Bearing the sin of having threatened the social order, the aunt then becomes the no name woman, as her original identity is forever lost in
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