The Woman Warrior
The Woman Warrior
by Maxine Hong Kingston

The Woman Warrior Analysis

Literary Devices in The Woman Warrior

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Ghosts permeate (or maybe haunt) the entire book and, we might infer, Kingston's life. Foreigners, non-Chinese people, are represented in the book as ghosts. The book also has literal ghosts. They...

Setting

One of the really awesome things about Kingston's story is that it travels through time and space. It's all super relevant to the work that her story does. This floating back and forth between Chin...

Narrator Point of View

Kingston is writing about her life, so the first person narration helps draw the reader into her perspective. This is her talk story, her journal to write in, her truth to tell. Though some moments...

Genre

One might say that The Woman Warrior is first and foremost an autobiography, stories directly based off of Kingston's life. When she writes about her mom, we believe her to be writing about her act...

Tone

Kingston is intimate with this text. The book is pretty much like the flesh of her bones. The stories are her livelihood. The effect of this honest writing is that we readers get kind of enraptured...

Writing Style

Kingston's writing is so majestic and lyrical, that it enchants us. It's not using fancy imagery just to impress anybody. The language helps us to see a different kind of truth. You know how in the...

What's Up With the Title?

In the chapter "White Tigers," Maxine Hong Kingston writes about the conflicting stories she was told growing up as a Chinese girl. Was she only worth something as a wife or slave? Or did she have...

What's Up With the Ending?

Maxine Hong Kingston concludes the book with a separate section beginning with one of her mother's stories. Kingston's grandma loved to watch operas in China, making it a family tradition to go out...

Tough-o-Meter

Kingston's language is not so difficult, but the way she composes sentences can be kind of tricky, especially when it's hard to get a foothold on any concrete facts in her story. For example, Kings...

Plot Analysis

Kingston's stories, as you might have noticed, create more of a collage than they do a single, traditional story. The idea of the Classic Plot Analysis is to trace how stories often follow a simila...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

As a memoir, The Woman Warrior doesn't fit any of Booker's plot types. Kingston does combine bits of each of Booker's narrative structures; "White Tigers" certainly involves a quest, Kingston talks...

Three Act Plot Analysis

Kingston's memoirs do not fit into the traditional three act plot. You could try to do it, and we invite you to, but for now, we'll just offer some reasons why we think the three act plot might lim...

Trivia

For the male counterpart to The Woman Warrior, read Kingston's China Men.It's not clear whether or not Hua Mulan (or Fa Mu Lan, as Kingston and Disney refer to her) actually existed in the flesh or...

Steaminess Rating

Kingston gives us a lot of adult material, though it usually induces uncomfortable squirms. We see everything from adultery that leads to suicide and infanticide to love making in a tent on a mount...

Allusions

Chen Luan-feng (2.101)Kuan Kung (2.103)"The Seven Strange Tales of the Golden Bottle" (3.23)"What Confucius Did Not Talk About" (3.23) I Ching (3.80)Chung-li Ch'uan (3.128)Kao Chung (3.145)Chen Lua...

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