Kingston writes that her parents use knives to write her family into her back before she goes to war. This way, her body is a literal tablet on which the family is represented. Kingston writes that "swordswoman and [she] are not so dissimilar" because they both have words on their backs (2.189). Their form of vengeance for injustices against their families is not necessarily in any hand-to-hand combat, but in the reporting of the stories. In this way, The Woman Warrior is a collection of the words on Kingston's back, trying to do some good by her family and by herself.