Essay on A Tale Of A Nameless Aunt

1823 Words Nov 3rd, 2015 8 Pages
Kingston opens her autobiography with a tale of a nameless aunt. She describes the way in which women who are impregnated out of wedlock are treated in China, in this case, utterly erased from memory. Her father 's sister committed suicide after all of the villagers in her rural Chinese village destroyed their home, taking the baby along with her. Then her name is forgotten, her line is severed, and she is denied the sacred burial rites of the Chinese.

Kingston reflects on this harsh treatment and wonders at how her aunt was impregnated. Was it rape? Or love? Kingston considers the effect Chinese society had on her aunt 's situation and tries to imagine what was going through her head. Was she simply obeying a male 's demand, as she had all her life? Or did she fall for him, ready and willing to do anything just to garner a glance? Kingston admits that her aunt 's plight haunts her, that her aunt 's memory and end plagues her thoughts. Kingston highlights the conflict between the rigidity of Chinese society with her experiences in immigrant America. Her two identities are in conflict, and the story of her nameless aunt elicits confusion and conflict in her two worlds, one enforced by her mother, and the other born of reality.

The second part of Kingston 's book is devoted to a story woven by her mother, the tale of Fa Mu Lan. The tale begins with a teenage girl drawn into the mysterious mountains by a magical bird. In those mountains, she finds two elders with strange…

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