From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Woman Warrior

The Woman Warrior


by Maxine Hong Kingston

The Woman Warrior Theme of Identity

Kingston gives us a big hint when she subtitles The Woman Warrior with the word "memoirs." This immediately puts in our mind that these stories are autobiographical and therefore personal to the author. The stories that Kingston shares in these pages are intensely personal. She feels that these are what her life story is comprised of. By compiling these mythological and family stories into a memoir, Kingston invites us to consider what stories have to do with our sense of ourselves.

Questions About Identity

  1. How is Kingston's autobiography different from other autobiographies you have read?
  2. Kingston does not write much about her own life experiences until the last chapter. What is the effect of this focus on other women's lives?
  3. How do we know what we know about Kingston as a character? How do we compare and contrast Kingston the author with Kingston the character?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

In her memoirs, Kingston explores the lineage of Chinese women closest to her, implying that her life story is dependent on those who have come before her.

In her memoirs, Kingston explores the lineage of Chinese women closest to her in order to differentiate her own story from theirs.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...