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The Woman Warrior

The Woman Warrior

by Maxine Hong Kingston

Analysis: Narrator Point of View

Who is the narrator, can she or he read minds, and, more importantly, can we trust her or him?

First Person (Central Narrator)

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, like the chapter "At the Western Palace," are written in third person, the book is largely grounded in the understanding that Kingston is shaping our interaction with these stories. This foundation in the first person also reminds us that Kingston is not claiming to tell anyone else's truth or version of reality. Instead, she is writing as a means of reflecting on and reconstructing her life. She's not claiming that it's all factual, but she is suggesting that all of it is based in some sense of truth. Writing is a pretty powerful tool, eh?

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