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The Woman Warrior

The Woman Warrior


by Maxine Hong Kingston

Analysis: Plot Analysis

Most good stories start with a fundamental list of ingredients: the initial situation, conflict, complication, climax, suspense, denouement, and conclusion. Great writers sometimes shake up the recipe and add some spice.

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 similar sort of narrative. However, Kingston's memoir chooses to be different. There is neither a central conflict nor any neatly tied-up answers at the book's close. Kingston's diversion from the traditional linear structure is significant. Her stories show how one person's life story is in fact stories, plural. Moreover, there are also stories that don't even feature her as the main character or narrator. Identity is complex and requires stories that might not always seem to be related to one another. And voila, The Woman Warrior delivers.

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