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The Woman Warrior

The Woman Warrior

by Maxine Hong Kingston

Women and Femininity Theme

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 mom Brave Orchid, the warrior Fa Mu Lan, her aunt Moon Orchid, and Ts'ai Yen. This is a coming-of-age story and a memoir of girlhood. Issues involving motherhood, daughterhood, sisterhood, child-rearing , child-bearing, wifehood, and patriarchy are explored.

Questions About Women and Femininity

  1. What is the effect of Kingston's incorporation of Chinese myths involving women?
  2. What is the effect of Kingston's fascination with her mother's stories?
  3. What is the effect of the focus on women in the author's life in these stories?
  4. How does Kingston's relationship to her womanhood shift through the stories?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Maxine Hong Kingston's focus on women in her life in The Woman Warrior offers a heterogeneous rendering of Chinese women.

Maxine Hong Kingston's focus on women in her life in The Woman Warrior works within stereotypes about Chinese women and thereby reinforces those stereotypes.

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