The Woman Warrior
by Maxine Hong Kingston
The Woman Warrior Versions of Reality Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
I learned to make my mind large, as the universe is large, so that there is room for paradoxes. Pearls are bone marrow; pearls come from oysters. The dragon lives in the sky, ocean, marshes and mountains; and the mountains are also its cranium (2.44).
While training to be a warrior, Kingston works on her mind's ability to imagine the world other than it is by imagining the world as a dragon.
The bird flew above me down the mountain, and for some miles, whenever I turned to look for them, there would be the two old people waving. I saw them through the mist; I saw them on the clouds; I saw them big on the mountaintop when distance had shrunk the pines. They had probably left images of themselves for me to wave at and gone about their other business (2.73).
Kingston imagines a world where you can see the figures of people long after they are actually there; this is a poignant image of her thoughts and memory of the elderly couple actually projected into embodied forms.
In fact, it wasn't me my brother told about going to Los Angeles; one of my sisters told me what he'd told her. His version of the story may be better than mine because of its bareness, not twisted into designs. The hearer can carry it tucked away without it taking up much room (5.14).
Kingston begins Chapter 5 by divulging where she heard tell of the events in Chapter Four. We realize that the story of Moon Orchid in Chapter 4 is just that: a story told by Kingston, though it could just as well have been told by her brother or sister.