Maxine Kingston No Name Woman Essay

Maxine Hong Kingston's No Name Woman Essay examples

1620 Words7 Pages

Maxine Hong Kingston's No Name Woman

"A highly fictive text [whose non-fiction label gives] the appearance of being an actual representation of Asian American experience in the broader public sphere."
(Gloria Chun, "The High Note")

Such a disparaging remark about the misleading nature of Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrior has been readily refuted, notably by Leilani Nishime, who proposes in her essay "Engendering Genre..." that it is a text that transcends genre confines; it challenges traditional definitions of genre and demands redefinitions. Whatever the case, "No Name Woman" (NNW) is remarkable in the way the reader is given a candid social commentary in the guise of an intriguing tale of scandal and oppression. In a…show more content…

As mentioned earlier, the mother's version is tinged with conservative disapproval, possibly a result of her direct involvement with the events and their unpleasant consequences. Despite her traditional viewpoint (which might be seen as narrow and bigoted in a modern context), her version is interestingly the most objective one of the three: her own opinions only make themselves felt at the end of her otherwise purely narrative tale. In the next change of filter, the narrator then puts forth her own speculative version of events, portraying her aunt as the proverbial victim of circumstances. Adopting this filter of the passive aunt gives us an insightful look into her surroundings, proposing a degree of identification with her, and inducing a temporary familiarity with the period's oppressive attitudes for modern readers. In effect, this passage makes accessible two potentially alienating elements: the social and temporal context of the setting, as well as the psyche of the character in question. This level of personal identification is taken a step further when, later in the story, the narrator indulges in wild speculation of her aunt playing a potentially active role in the events. The conveying of a modern mindset upon her aunt may seem jarring in the context

Show More

Maxine Hong Kingston's No Name Woman Essay examples

1400 Words6 Pages

Maxine Hong Kingston's No Name Woman

A person's identity cannot be given to her, instead a person must achieve a sense of her character through personal experience and self-reflection. In "No Name Woman", Maxine Hong Kingston recalls the events of her aunt's life in the vague world of her Chinese roots. The story of her aunt is told by her mother and Kingston recreates the events into an exploratory story to help herself figure out what part of her identity is Chinese and help her better understand the Chinese culture. In retelling her aunt's story, Kingston seeks to reconcile both her Chinese and American identities and mold her own identity as a result. Kingston, a first generation American, finds that as a result of her cultural…show more content…

Kingston's story seeks meaning in the Chinese culture system in order to strengthen her individual identity. It also shows that certain aspects of the people and traditions of a cultural background can be disturbing at times. "To be a woman, to have a daughter in starvation time was enough... Women in the old China did not choose (Kingston 6)." The Chinese community that held the most meaning for Kingston's cultural identity had been lost somewhere in the past. The only knowledge Kingston has of anything Chinese had come from her mother, but that was not enough for her. She has only vague memories and imaginations of such a community that serve as a backdrop for the goal she seeks in strengthening her identity in relation to her ancestral and cultural makeup.

For Kingston, she had become separated from part of her heritage. She struggled in attempting to understand the meaning of this heritage in a world that is different from the older generations. She illustrates this confusion and difficulty in attempting to understand her cultural roots when she says, "Chinese Americans, when you try to understand what things in you are Chinese, how do you separate what is peculiar to childhood, to poverty, insanities, one family, your mother who marked your growing with stories, from what is Chinese? What is Chinese and what is the movies? (Kingston 5)." Kingston wants to tap into this old world her parents and ancestors belong to in order to

Show More

0 Replies to “Maxine Kingston No Name Woman Essay”

Lascia un Commento

L'indirizzo email non verrà pubblicato. I campi obbligatori sono contrassegnati *