Character Role Analysis
Maxine Hong Kingston and the quiet girl
Kingston's unabashed disdain for the quiet girl in her Chinese class gives us the heads-up that Kingston is projecting something personal onto this unassuming girl. We see how Kingston's own insecurities over being too quiet are sparked by this other girl's reticence. The girl's quietness should not offend Kingston to the point of pushing physical barriers. However, when Kingston bullies the girl in the bathroom, demanding that she speak, it shows us just how uncomfortable Kingston is with her own relationship to silence.