The Woman Warrior
Race Quotes Page 1
How we cite our quotes:
I saw two people made of gold dancing the earth's dances. They turned so perfectly that together they were the axis of the earth's turning. They were light; they were molten, changing gold – Chinese lion dancers, African lion dancers in midstep. I heard high Javanese bells deepen in midring to Indian bells, Hindu Indian, American Indian (2.37).
In an especially lucid moment, Kingston sees different nationalities for their similarities and not their differences.
I live now where there are Chinese and Japanese, but no emigrants from my own village looking at me as if I had failed them. Living among one's own emigrant villagers can give a good Chinese far from China glory and a place. "That old busboy is really a swordsman," we whisper when he goes by, "He's a swordsman who's killed fifty. He has a tong ax in his closet" (2.188).
Kingston considers the pros and cons of living with one's own emigrant villagers. The shared sense of hometown lends itself well to storytelling.
The Japanese, though "little," were not ghosts, the only foreigners considered not ghosts by the Chinese. They may have been descended from the Chinese explorers that the First Emperor of Ch'in (221-210 B.C.) had deployed to find longevity medicine (3.162).
Kingston's centralized placement of Chinese (American) characters in The Woman Warrior and the allusions to Cantonese language complicate the black-white racial paradigm.