The story that a Chinese mother told her Chinese-American daughter.

The story that a Chinese mother told her Chinese-American daughter.

In 1976, Maxine Hong Kingston wrote her work called The Woman Warrior. Within this work she wrote the non-fiction essay called “No Name Woman”. This is the story that a Chinese mother told her Chinese-American daughter. The story told of Maxine’s aunt who had gotten pregnant outside her marriage. Her aunt’s shame brought disgrace to the family and because of that the family forgot about the aunt and never spoke of her again. The essay was visually and poetically written. Sentences flowed gracefully from one to another and the images went through your head as though you were watching a television program. “Some were crying. Like a great saw, teeth strung with lights, files of people walked zigzag across our land, tearing the rice. Their lanterns doubled in the disturbed black water, which drained away through the broken bunds. As the villagers closed in, we could see that some of them, probably men and women we knew well, wore white masks.” (Kingston 255). As the story went further the pictures that were created in your head just went ever farther. You could see her pain that the family caused, you felt her pain when she was having the baby, and you saw the anger and the fear in the family’s eyes when the villagers came to raid their home. By the end of the mother’s story you feel bad for the aunt, but you also see why Kingston told this poetic story to the reader. Her story shows how the Chinese culture and the American culture are so different. Kingston was a first generation Chinese-American. She wanted to make her family happy by doing as they asked, but at the same time she wanted to be like everyone else around her. She did not wish to be troubled by old Chinese customs, yet her mother wanted to keep the customs strong in her daughter. “Walking erect (knees straight, toes pointed forward, not pigeon-toed, which is Chinese-feminine) and speaking in an inaudible voice, I have tried to turn mys…


Comments are closed.