Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

Women and Femininity

Kingston in The Woman Warrior is largely figuring out what it means for her to be a Chinese American women by way of considering the lives of great Chinese women before her: her nameless aunt, her...

Literature and Writing

Maxine Hong Kingston opens The Woman Warrior with a story told to her. As we quickly see, this opening sets the tone for the rest of the memoirs, which are largely Kingston's versions of stories to...

Versions of Reality

Given that "Literature and Writing" is also an important theme for The Woman Warrior, we might be able to predict that Kingston's interest in storytelling makes it clear that it's hard to know what...

Language and Communication

Language and communication is a big theme in The Woman Warrior. Kingston's stories are about the conflict between silence and the need to communicate ones thoughts and feelings to one's loved ones....

Family

Kingston writes almost exclusively of her family in The Woman Warrior. She focuses most of all on her mother Brave Orchid, from whom she learned the tradition of talk story. Kingston spends most of...

Contrasting Regions

Kingston's parents immigrated to America from China. Her memoirs explore her search for identity as she tries to navigate the vast differences between the two cultures. Differences in language, tra...

Identity

Kingston gives us a big hint when she subtitles The Woman Warrior with the word "memoirs." This immediately puts in our mind that these stories are autobiographical and therefore personal to the au...

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 sor...

Madness

Though madness is not as blatant a theme in The Woman Warrior as, say, women and femininity, Kingston seems to have a fascination with people who are considered mentally unstable. Significantly, th...
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