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The Woman Warrior

The Woman Warrior


by Maxine Hong Kingston

Moon Orchid Timeline and Summary

  • Moon Orchid arrives at the San Francisco International Airport from China. She hasn't seen her sister in thirty years. She hasn't seen her daughter for five years.
  • When security goes through her suitcase, she doesn't look up to her family waiting but instead watches the tissues pulled out of her belongings.
  • Moon Orchid has brought presents for Brave Orchid's family. She gives them out before dinner.
  • Moon Orchid helps her sister prepare dinner for everyone.
  • She doesn't seem interested when Brave Orchid brings up her husband, who hasn't contacted her and has taken a second wife whom he has three kids with.
  • Moon Orchid tries to help out at the laundry, but she's not good at it, yellowing shirts when ironing and such.
  • Moon Orchid is afraid of walking around the streets of San Francisco without her sister.
  • Moon Orchid is assigned the role of folding handkerchiefs. She starts following Brave Orchid's kids around and narrating everything they're saying. It drives them crazy.
  • Moon Orchid says she would be happy permanently living with Brave Orchid or with her own daughter; she feels no need to confront her husband.
  • When she meets the husband again, Moon Orchid can barely speak. Her husband pretty much tells her that he does not want a life with her anymore.
  • Moon Orchid goes to live with her daughter's family. She starts suspecting she's being spied on. She stops replying to Brave Orchid's letters.
  • Moon Orchid takes a Greyhound bus to go live with Brave Orchid. She continues to follow her nieces and nephews around, narrating their every move. She's afraid of going outside and turning the lights on, for fear that people will track her.
  • Moon Orchid goes back to live with her daughter. Then she goes to live in an insane asylum, which she likes since she gets to treat all the other women like her daughters. She says that they understand one another.