The Case Of The Woman Warrior English Literature Essay

Maxine Hong Kingston was born on October 27, 1940 and is still alive to this present twenty-four hours. She was born in Stockton, California as a 2nd coevals of her Chinese household to be here in America. Her male parent, Tom Hong was a laundry worker, and her female parent, Ying Lan Hong was a practician of medical specialty. Together, they had a sum of eight kids ; Kingston being the 3rd.

Kingston attended the University of California, Berkley majoring in technology. She so switched her major to English subsequently on in her college old ages. In the twelvemonth of 1962, she married an histrion by the name of Earl Kingston. The twelvemonth after that, they had their first boy together, Joseph Lawrence Chung Mei. In 1965, She received her learning certification and began a high school learning calling. She and her household relocated to Hawaii in the twelvemonth of 1967. By this clip, she began to be serious about her authorship. She published her first book in the twelvemonth of 1975 with the aid of Vintage Books.

In an interview that was held by American Literary History, Kingston mentioned her esteem of other writers by the name of Walt Whitman, Virginia Woolf, and William Carlos Williams. Of these writers, she notes the beat of their linguistic communication, the freedom and abandon of the linguistic communication they write. She is inspired by the fact that these writers write in a manner that we do n’t hold to be ‘constrained to being merely one cultural group or gender. ‘` which makes her experience as if she can now compose as a adult male, a black individual, or a white individual.

Form, Structure, & A ; Plot

In the book The Woman Warrior, Kingston has organized the novel to state the narratives of five different adult females that she has encountered in her life. Three of these adult females are relatives ; one is a fabulous character ; and the last adult female mentioned in her book, is herself. She starts off with the narrative of her long-dead aunt, or as she calls her, the ‘No-Name Woman ‘ that has shamed her household. Her 2nd narrative is the fabulous narrative of Fa Mu Lan, a winning female warrior. The undermentioned narrative Tells us about the battle that her female parent has made back place in China.

In each chapter, there was a different narrative of how each adult female lived. There were multiple secret plans, each narrative holding its ain secret plan. In the novel, clip was truly something that truly did n’t be to her. At the beginning of the book, she started with a flashback of the clip that her female parent told her a talk-story so that she would larn her lesson as to why she should n’t dishonor her household. She so went back centuries ago to state us the fabulous narrative of Fa Mu Lan, to her female parents ain clip and her battle back in China, to her aunt, Moon Orchid ‘ narrative, and to herself in the present twenty-four hours.

Point of View

Kingston ‘s narrative position attack on her novel is really different of any other books I have read. Kingston writes her novel from a first and 3rd individual point of position. She includes the words ‘I ‘ which tells us that this novel was written as a limited narration. With five different narratives written, her fresh varies from a reminiscent and recent position. Her narratives are told from the yesteryear to show.

Kingston shows her first point of position with a protagonist voice when she is speaking as her ain ego, an American ; and when she tells her fabulous narrative and portrays herself as the adult female warrior Fa Mu Lan. As the voice of herself, she acts as a supporter. As the voice of Fa Mu Lan, she is merely an perceiver.

Writing in 3rd individual point of position, she talks about her long dead aunt, who has shamed her household ; her female parent, Brave Orchid, who tells her battle back in China ; and her aunt, Moon Orchid, who finally dies in a mental refuge. In all three of these narratives, Kingston acts once more merely as an perceiver stating us the narrative of three different adult females.

Throughout the novel, her point of position switches wholly from 3rd individual, to first individual, to third, and back to first individual. As a reader, this effects me greatly so that I may come to understand the narrative more.

Fictional character

Get downing her novel with the ‘No Name Woman ‘ , this level character stayed statistic and was revealed straight. This aunt of hers was brought up into the narrative by her female parent who told Kingston that she was a sister of her male parent ‘s that had killed herself in the well along with her newborn babe. I believe that she was a unit of ammunition character because in this narrative she stays quiet about herself being pregnant, stating no 1.

In the narrative of Fa Mu Lan, this character was introduced indirectly. At the beginning of this chapter, you would n’t be able to calculate out who was speaking. And along the manner, you ‘d eventually see that it was another individual, person fabulous. Fa Mu Lan is a unit of ammunition character that changes dynamically traveling from a simple miss who finds herself on a mountain top preparation to go the strongest adult female warrior that influenced many.

Her female parent ‘s narrative begins indirectly every bit good. Alike with Fa Mu Lan, you would n’t be able to state who was speaking but you will pick up along the manner. In this narrative, Her female parent is a level, inactive character that succeeds in China as a medical specialty adult female.

The narrative with the character of her aunt, Moon Orchid, comes in a direct attack stating us that she is a sister of Kingston ‘s female parent that is coming to ‘the Golden Mountain ‘ for the really first clip. I believe that this character is a unit of ammunition character that is inactive.

Last, Kingston tells her ain narrative. The character of her ego is a unit of ammunition and dynamic character that changes over clip and adulthood. She grows up as a eldritch kid that ever disagrees with her female parent and is ever put last in her category. And when she is grown, she acts more mature and has come to accept her female parent and her ain civilization.

One cardinal character from the book is Fa Mu Lan. When introduced, she is a miss at the age of seven. Before she began her preparation, she was a ‘little miss of seven ‘ ( pg 20 ) , during preparation, she is a respectful kid that knows how to handle her seniors, and after preparation, she becomes the strongest individual in China, winning triumph from a elephantine and over throwing the Emperor. When she is in conflict, she appears to look like a adult male. And when she marries the love of her life, ‘she is beautiful ‘ ( pg 39 ) .

Another one of the characters goes by the name of the Brave Orchid. Brave Orchid starts in the book at the age of 37. Brave Orchid is a adult female with a medical sheepskin, with ‘thick foreheads ‘ ( pg 58 ) , ‘lips full ‘ ( pg 58 ) , and ‘spacy eyes ‘ ( pg 58 ) . Her female parent is the type of female parent to state many talk-stories as Kingston was turning up.


The Woman Warrior occurs in both China and America. The clip varies throughout the novel. Kingston went from household yesteryear, to centuries ago, to her female parents past, her childhood yesteryear, and eventually to her recent old ages. In China, the scene is described otherwise in each of the narratives. These narratives differ from taking topographic point in Chinese small towns, to a more urban China, and in conclusion, here in America.

In the narratives of her long dead aunt, the narrative is told back in their small town of Canton, China ; same with half the narrative of Fa Mu Lan. The other half that Fa Mu Lan takes topographic point in is in the mountains and celestial spheres, where Fa Mu Lan does her preparation. Fa Mu Lan so goes back to China on the battleground to get the better of many of those she has wanted to revenge. And Fa Mu Lan ‘s last visit is to where the Emperor lives so that she can subvert the Emperor that did his people incorrect. With the narrative of her female parent, it takes topographic point in a more urban country where her ma works with medical specialty. The narrative of her aunt, Moon Orchid takes topographic point in America where she immigrates. Subsequently on in this narrative Kingston ‘s female parent, Brave Orchid takes her sister to Los Angeles, California to face Moon Orchids hubby. And at last, the narrative of herself takes which topographic point in America. Where Kingston changes her attitude because she feels as though these Chinese cultural behaviours do n’t accommodate her because she is in privation to go more free like Americans.


Above all, Kingston ‘s enunciation throughout The Woman Warrior was really formal.

When stating us about the hurting she felt as she was being cut, she did n’t merely state ‘it injury ‘ she gave item which made us understand she, as Fa Mu Lan, was experiencing stating that ‘It hurt awfully ‘ the cuts crisp ; the air combustion ; the intoxicant cold, so hot ‘ hurting so carious. ‘ ( pg 35 ) . Kingston uses imagery many times through the book. Her linguistic communication can be really elaborate when depicting nature itself depicting to us that the ‘water was so clear it magnified the fibres in the walls of the calabash ‘ ( pg 22 ) . She can be flowery when she described what the old people ‘s house looked like with ‘Ferns and shade flowers that grew out of one wall, the versant itself ‘ ( pg 21 ) .

In the novel, There is much duologue traveling on between one character and another. Usually it is merely an A, B conversation. These dialogue voices can change otherwise from the narrative voice. Some duologues can be those of she and her female parent controversy and the storytellers voice can be the one of her more mature ego that has accepted her female parent. Normally the duologue between one character from another would n’t be so different in this novel ; unless of class they were on separate sides of an statement.

Passage # 1

‘A stone grew in the center of the house, and that was their tabular array. The benches were fallen trees. Ferns and shade flowers grew out of the wall, the versant itself. The old twosome tucked me into a bed merely my breadth. ‘Breathe equally, or you ‘ll lose your balance and autumn out, ‘ said the adult female, covering me with a silk bag stuffed with plumes and herbs. ‘Opera vocalists, who begin their preparation at five, slumber in beds like this. ‘ Then the two of them went outdoors, and through the window I could see them draw on a rope looped over a subdivision. The rope was tied to the roof, and the roof opened up like a basket palpebra. I would kip with the Moon and the stars. I did non see whether the old people slept, so rapidly did I drop off, but they would be at that place waking me with nutrient in the forenoon ‘ ( pg 21 )

Passage # 2

One spring forenoon I was at work with my collapsible shelter mending equipment, piecing my apparels, and analyzing maps when a voice said, ‘General, may I see you in your collapsible shelter, delight? ‘ As if it were my ain place, I did non let aliens in my collapsible shelter. And since I had no household with me, no one of all time visited indoors. Riverbanks, hillsides, the cool slopped suites under the pine trees ‘ China provides her soldiers with meeting topographic points plenty. I opened the collapsible shelter flap. And at that place in the sunshine stood my hubby with weaponries full of wild flowers for me. ‘You are beautiful, ‘ he said, and meant it genuinely. ‘I have looked for you everyplace. I ‘ve been looking for you since the twenty-four hours that bird flew off with you. ‘ We were so pleased with each other, the childhood friend found at last, the childhood friend cryptically grown up. ‘I followed you, but you skimmed over the stones until I lost you. ” ( pg 39 )


Kingston manner of sentence structure can be shown through the manner she writes her sentences. Her sentences are seldom simple and short. Normally they are long, or medium length. Usual sentences range from 10 to thirty words per sentence. Her pick of words is really formal. Alternatively of stating ‘do n’t ‘ she separates it and says ‘do non ‘ . Her sentence constructions can hold different forms to them for illustration, ‘It hurt awfully ‘ the cuts crisp ; the air combustion ; the intoxicant cold, so hot ‘ hurting so carious. ‘ ( pg 35 ) . Here she uses elans and semi colons to add more affect when the reader is reading this to understand her hurting more in this quotation mark.

In transition # 2, Kingston creates a more calming consequence to demo how passionate Fa Mu Lan and her hubby are when they see each other for the first clip in many old ages. Her word picks make a large impact on what goes on through our caput when we read this transition. When Kingston had said ‘One spring forenoon ‘ we think of the nature, the trees and flowers all about and the forenoon zephyr. She says that a voice, but did n’t state us whose which makes it more leery at the fact that she non merely has a visitant, but a visitant that we do n’t cognize, that we do n’t anticipate. When she tells us that ‘no one of all time visited Fa Mu Lan ‘ , it gives u more intuition as to why this visitant wanted to speak to her in the first topographic point. Then, when Fa Mu Lan ‘opened the collapsible shelter flap ‘ , ‘there in the sunshine stood her hubby with his weaponries fill of wild flowers for her ‘ which gives us a sense of felicity that they are eventually together.

Concrete Detail/Imagery

Sight: ‘I searched the house, runing out people for test. ‘ ( pg 44 )

Hearing: ‘Sounds did non come out of her oral cavity, shortness of breath, choking coils, noises that were about words. ‘ ( pg 178 )

Taste: ‘The teapot and the rice pot seemed bottomless, but possibly non ; the old twosome ate really small except for the Prunus persicas. ‘ ( pg 21 )

Smell: ‘Forbiddingly, I caught the odor ‘ metallic, the Fe odor of blood, as when a adult female gives birth, as at the forfeit of a big animate being as when I menstruated and dreamed ruddy dreams. ‘ ( pg 34 )

Touch: ‘At its birth the two of them had felt the same natural hurting of separation, a lesion that merely the household pressing tight could shut ‘ ( pg 15 )

Imagery is of import when it adds on more item to whatever is happening in the novel. It is of import because as readers, it helps us understand the writer ‘s point of position more. It helps us experience as if we were at that place, or we were to portion the experience with them.


In the fable of Fa Mu Lan, the bird that has guided her up the mountain symbolizes many things. It can intend that the bird was in a manner like her usher through her life, a usher through the obstructions that were in her life as good. For illustration, when she cut her pess and fingers, she still kept following the bird because it was steering her.

Another manner that Kingston used symbols was another bird to typify decease. When Kingston tells us the narrative of her hapless Communist uncle, because he was tricked by the bird when he tries to catch a bird after mounting up the tree. The point of that was to acquire nutrient for his household and himself. But he failed miserably when guards caught him so his organic structure was left on the tree to decompose to frighten the people and to demo them what would go on to them.

A different symbol would be the usage of mountains. Here in the novel, mountains were used as a type of pickup. In Fa Mu Lan, she gets off from her small town to a fabulous topographic point to go stronger. In ‘Shaman ‘ , it was besides a pickup for the villagers to get away the Nipponese bombardments. And the ‘Gold Mountain ‘ besides known, as America was a new beginning for immigrants desiring to go forth their state.

Figurative Language

When Kingston ‘s female parent, moves to America, she refers to the Americans as ‘ghosts ‘ . She tells her kids about the dangers of white shades, which are far more chilling than the black shades because the black shades are less sneakier than the white shades. Kingston ‘s female parent, Brave Orchid, makes up things for her kids to mind like the newspaper shade, the cab shade, the coach male child shade, the manager shade, and the instructor shade.

Dry Devicess

In the novel, Kingston uses state of affairs sarcasm when she talks about Fa Mu Lan coming home. The twenty-four hours after Fa Mu Lan spends at her place, she is asked by her female parent to follow her and maintain her nightwears on. She is so asked to kneel before her ascendants and take off her shirt. As a reader I thought that it was eldritch to kneel in forepart of your ascendants half bare. Soon after, Fa Mu Lan ‘s female parent ‘washed her back as if she had left for merely a twenty-four hours and were her babe yet. ‘ Then we find out that her parents are traveling to ‘carve retaliation on her dorsum ‘ .

After cognizing this, I thought why would her parents mark her dorsum and do her spell through so much hurting the twenty-four hours right after she got back and have n’t seen her in many old ages. Reading this I could n’t hush understand why the Chinese civilization expects so much from their off springs.


Throughout the book, Kingston keeps the same formal tone. She tells us about her life, her civilization, her experiences that she has had in her life. She portions narratives of her aunt and how she lost her regard for one error ; a myth that she was a portion of her life turning up as a small miss. She told us about her household ‘s battle on their manner here to America and their life as good. How good her household succeeded, and how bad her household failed.

Other times in her novel, Kingston shows an attitude of choler, like when she was seeking to do the quiet miss talk but could n’t so Kingston tried to do her by physical force like ‘pulling the hair turning out of her weak cervix ‘ ( pg 178 ) and doing the miss call. Even though she was shouting Kingston still kept shouting at her, crushing her, anything she could make merely to do the quiet miss talk. But in the terminal, the miss still ne’er talked.

The tone of passion was shown when Kingston described the first clip Fa Mu Lan saw her hubby. She used imagination like ‘one spring forenoon ‘ ( pg 39 ) so that we can all conceive of a sharp forenoon filled with flowers everyplace. When she tells us that her hubbies ‘arm is full of wild flowers ‘ added more to the tone. Made us experience touched that he still cared for her and still looked for her after all these old ages she was gone triaging in the mountain with the old people to go what she is now.


‘You should ne’er be afraid to make anything in your life. ‘

All the narratives that Kingston has given us are life lessons. Her long dead aunt could ‘ve done something about the gestation. If she knew she was pregnant, she should ‘ve ran off to another small town or talk up if she were raped. She was excessively afraid to really make anything about her babe, so in the terminal, she committed self-destruction.

With Fa Mu Lan, she was brave. She took the opportunities that she got and stuck to her pick. She pushed all the manner through and overthrew the Emperor. On her manner up the mountain, even though she was acquiring scrapings and cuts on her fingers and pess, she still kept traveling up the mountain, determined to follow the bird that led her on. She stayed with the old people and now she is every bit strong as of all time. She made her ground forces grow stronger and stronger so so, she was able to over throw the Emperor.

Kingston ‘s purpose is to demo us that all we truly necessitate to make is prosecute our dreams and ends in life. If we stick to them like her female parent, Fa Mu Lan, and herself, we can populate our happily of all time after like any talk-story that ends merrily as Fa Mu Lans.

Significance of the Title

The Woman Warrior fundamentally sums up the whole book. Because every narrative that was in this book was a adult female who fought her ain conflict, doing her a warrior. Some lost adult females, and some succeeded as life went on. For illustration, the long dead aunt dealt with the fact that villagers came to her place and ruin everything. And her aunt that had migrated to America dealt with a different ambiance here, her loss of her hubby to another adult female, and her head traveling insane.

The adult females who won their life conflict Fa Mu Lan, Kingston ‘s female parent, Brave Orchid, and Kingston herself are adult females we can look up to. Fa Mu Lan became the strongest out of everyone in China, and as a adult female I think that is something really honest. Brave Orchid, had a sheepskin for medical specialty.

Memorable Quotation marks

‘The other letters said that my uncles were made to kneel on broken glass during their tests and had confessed to being landholders. They were all executed, and the aunt whose pollexs were twisted off drowned herself. ‘ ( pg 50 )

The significance of this transition shows what communism can take to, calamity.

‘Then the two of them went outdoors, and through the window I could see them draw on a rope looped over a subdivision. The rope was tied to the roof, and the roof opened up like a basket palpebra. I would kip with the Moon and the stars. ‘ ( pg 21 )

This transition shows us the originative head that Kingston has.

‘It injury awfully ‘ the cuts crisp ; the air combustion ; the intoxicant cold, so hot ‘ hurting so carious. ‘

( pg 35 ) .

The transition above shows us how barbarous and how dedicative it is to demo your regard in the Chinese civilization.

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