The Woman Warrior
by Maxine Hong Kingston
The Woman Warrior Identity Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
When you have been walking through trees hour after hour – and I finally reached trees after the dead land – branches cross out everything, no relief whichever way your head turns until your eyes start to invent new sights. Hunger also changes the world – when eating can't be a habit, then neither can seeing. I saw two people made of gold dancing the earth's dances. They turned so perfectly that together they were the axis of the earth's turning (2.37).
While training to be a warrior, Kingston writes how her sense of interacting with the world changed. This seems to suggest that one's life experiences shape the reality that one lives.
"Let's tie it to a flagpole until it dries," I said. We had both seen the boxes in which our parents kept the dried cords of all their children. "This one was yours, and this yours," my mother would say to us brothers and sisters, and fill us with awe that she could remember (2.109).
Kingston hopes to carry on her mother's tradition. She is happy that her mom remembers such intimate details about her life because it shows that her life is worth remembering, worth telling stories about.
"We've never met before. I've done nothing to you."
"You've done this," I said, and ripped off my shirt to show him my back. "You are responsible for this." When I saw his startled eyes at my breasts, I slashed him across the face and on the second stroke cut off his head" (2.132-133).
Kingston takes the political to be personal; even if the baron has not directly hurt Kingston, she reacts against his sexist behavior. Kingston identifies as a female avenger, someone who looks out and stands up for womankind.