The Woman Warrior Theme of Race
"Race" may not be the best term for the complicated identity questions that Kingston delves into in The Woman Warrior. However, race definitely plays a role within these stories as our narrator sorts through her many identities. For much of the memoir, Kingston reflects on what it means to be Chinese American and a woman. The book also explores racial divides in China itself (like Ts'ai Yen's being captured by the supposed barbarians).
Questions About Race
- What role does race take in this book? How about nationality? Ethnicity?
- How would these memoirs be different if Kingston were not Chinese American?
- How does Kingston suggest there is a difference between the Chinese Americans of her generation and those of the immigrant (Brave Orchid's) generation?
- What is the interaction between people of different racial groups in this novel?
Chew on This
Kingston does not feel the same pressure to speak around Chinese-class students as she does when in an English-speaking school. This implies that Kingston's level of speaking comfort varies depending on the people she is around.
Race is not made to be a big issue in this novel since almost all of the characters are ethnically Chinese. Instead, the relationships are more marked by nationality and generation.