Woman Warrior Essay

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Woman Warrior Essay Maxine Hong Kingston's novel, The Woman Warrior is a semi-autobiographical collection of short stories that chronicles her childhood in California. It gives the reader a feeling of how it feels like to be a Chinese American girl growing up with traditional parents in a world that is quite different from theirs. Throughout the novel, both she and her mother refer to the outside world as "ghosts." The subtitle given to the book is Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts. To figure out the meaning behind this subtitle, one has to try to see what Kingston means when she and her family use the term "ghost."
When people think of ghosts, it can be said that thoughts of death and non-existence come to mind. When this term is used
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Kingston never knew this person, but the story of her aunt still haunts her like a ghost.
The next chapter is titled White Tigers. In this chapter, Brave Orchid tells Kingston of another story. This time, it is of Fa Mulan. In this chapter, the reader gets the drastic differences between how women are treated in stories, and how women are treated and viewed in real life. In Mulan's story, women are strong characters, while the men play either secondary roles, or are portrayed as the "bad guy." After the Mulan story is finished, Kingston writes, "My American life has been such a disappointment." The contrast between the two parts of the chapter is extremely evident. While women were shown to be strong characters, in the real world, women are no better than "maggots in the rice."
The story of Fa Mulan haunts Kingston, because it is a constant reminder of the differences between the fantasy world and the real world. With the telling of this story, she can never forget that she isn't on even ground with everyone else because of her gender and race. Despite the civil inequality, the story of Fa Mulan is also a source of strength. It gives Kingston something to look up to, even though there are people against her.
The last chapter, titled Song for a Barbarian Reed Pipe, shows Kingston's acceptance of these "ghosts" and the strength she has